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Factbox-Shipping firms respond to Houthi attacks in Red Sea


(Reuters) – Houthi militants in Yemen have stepped up attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, impacting a shipping route vital to east-west trade.

Some shipping companies have responded by instructing vessels to sail around southern Africa instead, a longer and therefore more expensive route.

Below are actions taken by companies (in alphabetical order):


The global logistics group said on Dec. 22 it had rerouted more than 25 vessels around Africa over the previous week, and that number was likely to grow.


The French shipping group has suspended most Red Sea voyages but is still sending some cargoes on a case by case basis when French navy escorts were possible, Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saade said on Feb. 29.

The company expects disruptions to commercial shipping to last months.


The company’s vessels are avoiding the Suez Canal.

“Suez Canal transits are running about 40% below those seen during the first half of December last year. This is partially the result of several operators including ourselves avoiding the area,” President Anastasios Margaronis said on Feb. 23.


The Belgian oil tanker firm said on Dec. 18 it would avoid the Red Sea until further notice.


The Taiwanese container shipping line said on Dec. 18 its vessels on regional services to Red Sea ports would sail to safe waters nearby, while ships scheduled to pass through the Red Sea would be rerouted around Africa.


The Norway-based oil tanker group on Dec. 18 said its vessels would avoid the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

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The Norwegian auto carrier said on Dec. 21 its vessels were restricted from passing through the Red Sea.


The Norwegian shipping firm said on Jan. 12 it had halted all ships heading towards or within the Bab al-Mandab Strait.


The German container shipping line said on March 14 the Red Sea disruptions and global vessel oversupply would force it to cut expenses in 2024, including adapting sailings.

The company, which had decided in January to reroute its vessels around Africa until further notice, warned the impact of the rerouting will show up in the first quarter.


The South Korean container shipper said on Dec. 19 it had ordered its ships which would normally use the Suez Canal to reroute around Africa.


The Norwegian auto carrier said on Dec. 20 it would stop sailing via the Red Sea.

On Feb. 8 the company said that the Red Sea disruptions were adversely impacting its capacity and volumes.


The Norway-based fleet operator said on Jan. 16 it would not trade any of its vessels through the Red Sea until the situation improves.


Swiss logistics group Kuehne + Nagel said on March 1 it expects the impact from the Red Sea crisis to last into the coming quarters and impact its Q2 EBIT in a low double-digit million Swiss francs range.


The Danish shipping group on Jan. 5 suspended Red Sea traffic “for the foreseeable future”. Maersk said on May 6 that the disruption to container shipping traffic is increasing and is expected to reduce the industry’s capacity between Asia and Europe by some 15%-20% in the second quarter. On May 2 it forecast the disruptions to last at least until the end of 2024.

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Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said on Dec. 16 its ships would not transit through the Suez Canal.


Japan’s biggest shipper by sales suspended navigation through the Red Sea for all vessels it operates, a spokesperson told Reuters on Jan. 16.


The joint venture between Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Nippon Yusen, said on Dec. 19 it would reroute vessels from the Red Sea to the Cape of Good Hope or temporarily pause journeys and move to safe areas.


The Hong Kong-headquartered container group said on Dec. 21 it had instructed its vessels to either divert away from the Red Sea or suspend sailing. It also stopped accepting cargo to and from Israel until further notice.


Star Bulk’s CEO said on Feb. 13 the Greece-headquartered company would halt sailings through the Red Sea after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two of its ships.


The Lidl unit, which transports non-food goods for the discount supermarket chain and goods for third-party customers, said in December it was sailing around Africa for now.


The Danish oil tanker group said on Jan. 12 it had decided to pause all transits through the southern Red Sea for now.


The Norwegian shipping group said on Dec. 19 it would halt Red Sea transits until further notice.


The Taiwanese container shipping company said on Dec. 18 it would divert ships via the Cape of Good Hope for the next two weeks. It has given no further update.

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