Four Major Shipping Firms Halt Red Sea Route After Houthi Attacks  

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Dec 17, 2023 - 03:35 AM

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis have launched a series of attacks on commercial vessels in the highly trafficked Red Sea strait as retaliation for Israel's Gaza operation and Washington's support of Israel. In light of these developments, shipping giants A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S - also known as Maersk - and Hapag-Lloyd halted their container ships from sailing in these highly contested waters on Friday. Two other major shipping firms followed suit on Saturday.

The number of major shipping firms that have suspended sails through the Red Sea due to elevated missile and drone attacks near the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait has jumped to four. 

AFP News reports that Italian-Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company and French-based CMA CGM halted container ship sails through the Red Sea on Saturday, citing mounting risks due to Iran-backed Houthi rebels. 

Spillover risks of the Israel-Hamas war are already being recognized, as the Red Sea is responsible for 10% of the world's international trade. 

"We are deeply concerned about the highly escalated security situation in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden," Maersk said in a statement. 

Maersk continued, "The recent attacks on commercial vessels in the area are alarming and pose a significant threat to the safety and security of seafarers."

Hapag-Lloyd spokesman Nils Haupt said its container ships were drifting outside the strait and waiting for further instructions. This stretch of water is a crucial transit point for vessels traveling through Egypt's Suez Canal. 

On Saturday morning, US Central Command wrote in a post on X that the Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS CARNEY shot down 14 Houthi drones in the Red Sea. 

Some shipping companies have already rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the conflict area. 

As de-globalization accelerates and the old world order shreds apart, former NY Fed repo guru and former Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar warned earlier this year that a multipolar world would usher in the need for increased use of militaries around the world to ensure safe maritime shipping lanes