Carrier warns of major disruption after announcing it will divert all vessels from Red Sea routes around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope
Danish shipping giant Maersk warned customers on Friday to prepare for significant disruption after announcing it will divert all vessels from Red Sea routes around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future.
The decision follows an intensification of attacks by Houthi militants in Yemen on vessels in the Gulf region in support of Hamas fighters in Gaza.
The switch will affect a number of key fruit trades such as Egyptian citrus to Asia, European apples to Asia and the Middle East and Indian table grapes to Europe.
Travelling round the Cape of Good Hope can add around 10 days to journey times and ramps up shipping costs. A report in Reuters said redirecting ships around the southern tip of Africa can cost up to US$1m in extra fuel for every round trip between Asia and Northern Europe.
“The situation is constantly evolving and remains highly volatile, and all available intelligence at hand confirms that the security risk continues to be at a significantly elevated level,” Maersk said in a statement.
About one-third of global containership cargo passes through the Suez Canal.