Red Sea attacks prompt 2 million TEU drop in Suez boxship traffic

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THE redirection of container shipping services due to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea resulted in a significant decrease in fleet capacity passing through the Suez Canal during the New Year period, reports London’s Lloyd’s List.

Data from UK-based analysts MDS Transmodal reveals that from December 18 to January 7, fleet capacity traversing the crucial east-west route plummeted 60 per cent compared to the same period last year, dropping from 3.3 million TEU to just under 1.3 million TEU.

Carriers increasingly chose safer routes around the Cape of Good Hope.

During this timeframe, only HMM and Zim among the global top 10 carriers redirected all their capacity away from the Suez Canal. Danish carrier Maersk, which had initially resumed services through the Red Sea on December 15 but later announced plans to divert all services south of Africa due to further attacks on one of its vessels (Maersk Hangzhou, IMO: 9784300), moved the most capacity through the Suez, as reported by MDST.

Maersk’s decision to resume Red Sea routes was reversed following the attacks, despite naval escorts initiated by the US and its allies in the area.