Instruct Us
Date 19 December 2023
Year of Build N/A
Casualty type General Enquiry
Vessel Type N/A

* It is being widely reported in the world's media that the safety of merchant shipping navigating the Red Sea, particularly in the region of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, is currently worsening as a result of continuing attempts to target ships with missile attacks, which were initially allegedly targeted at ships with links to Israel, but which now appear to be more indiscriminate. The attacks are reported to be coming out of the Yemen as a result of malevolent activity by Houthi forces, said to be supported by Iran.

* It is reported that many major shipping companies including CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming and oil tanker operators, BP, have instructed vessels bound for the southern section of the Red Sea either to pause their voyage following the escalation of attacks in the region; or to divert vessels around the Cape of Good Hope.

* Other shipping companies, including Evergreen and OOCL have temporarily suspended services calling at Israeli ports.

* It is also reported that other oil tanker operators, including Euronav, will insist that vessels be granted an option in all charters to avoid the Red Sea.

* Any diversion to voyages to avoid the Red Sea will result in increased voyage times around the Cape of Good Hope of around 7 to 10 days and will likely result in additional freight charges. Obligations under existing contracts of carriage may also be affected as a result of vessel deviations and/or delays, with the potential for cargo interested parties to be affected. Any such issues requiring advice should be directed to our CCM department in the usual way.

* It is also reported that the US Department of Defence is considering an initiative to provide US Navy escorts to US-flagged vessels transiting the Red Sea. Such an initiative may also be offered to other vessels by other international navies.

* This is a very fast moving situation with developments being reported on a daily, if not hourly, basis. We will report further as more detailed information becomes available, including, as seems likely, any international initiatives to secure the safety of merchant shipping navigating the Red Sea.