Red Sea turmoil continues to impact marine traffic; US container ship attacked

Red Sea shipping container ship

Tokyo, Japan-based maritime shipping operator Nippon Yusen (NYK) has suspended sailing through the Red Sea and is considering route changes in the near future.

The announcement, made on 16 January, according to Reuters, follows Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd’s decisions to reroute earlier this month. In December 2023, a Maersk vessel was attacked in the Red Sea by the Yemen-based Houthi militia, who claim to be carrying out these attacks in response to Israel's retaliation against Hamas following the latter group's offensive into Israel on 7 October.

Also occurring on 16 January, a U.S. container ship was hit by an Iran-allied Houthi missile, according to Reuters. The White House reported that additional strikes on Tuesday were launched at four anti-ship missiles, and the strike had not previously been reported.

“Shipping companies are demanding more containers now as they avoid the Red Sea. Therefore, shipping companies and leasing companies have placed more than 750,000 20-foot equivalent units out of China in the last two months,” Container xChange CEO Christian Roeloffs said in a release.  

Further, the addition of Saudi Arabia, Iran, the U.A.E., Egypt, and Ethiopia to the BRICS bloc has set the stage for potential global trade polarization to impact geopolitical compliance, according to Container xChange.

“The Red Sea is a vital artery for global trade [and] is currently blocked. Thankfully, there are ways to circumvent that artery and keep the global trade moving, and therefore, trade is not stopped. The Red Sea situation is acute but not chronic in the long term for the shipping industry,” Roeloffs said. “What can have a far-reaching and long-term impact on the global supply chain is the BRICS inclusions of more economies.”

Photo courtesy of David G40/Shutterstock


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