Posted on January 1, 2024
The situation in the southern Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait remains volatile after the U.S. shot down additional attacks from Yemen. Hapag-Lloyd reports along with other carriers that it believes it is still too dangerous to send vessels into the area.
Hapag-Lloyd however this morning reports that its crisis committee has again reviewed the situation and decided that it will “continue our transit via the Cape of Good Hope,” at this time. The customer advisory said that the situation is being reviewed three times a week with the next meeting planned for January 2 and also for vessels in their last scheduled port before proceeding to the region.
The decision to divert ships has left the northern Red Sea region stranded and Hapag announced it will be addressing cargo bound for Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They supplied details on three ad hoc sailings from Egypt’s Mediterranean port, Damietta through the Suez Canal to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, both to deliver cargo and pick up outbound containers.
While Maersk appears to be moving forward with resuming transits, other carriers are telling Reuters that they will also continue to divert. According to Reuters, the Japanese shipping companies running vessels for Ocean Network Express (ONE) are continuing their diversions as are other carriers including Evergreen.
Other ships are however continuing to use the Red Sea and make the Suez Canal transit. Late on Thursday, U.S. Centcom reported that there were 18 ships in the area as the destroyer USS Mason responded to new attacks from Yemen. Between 5:45 and 6:15 p.m., the Mason shot down one drone and one anti-ship ballistic missile in the Southern Red Sea. Centcom was calling it the 22nd attempted attack by Houthis on international shipping since October 19, while writing that no damage was reported by any of the ships in the area.