Denmark’s prominent shipping company Maersk announced the rerouting of most of its container vessels away from the Red Sea due to heightened security risks.
Recent attacks by Yemen-based Houthi militants on vessels in the southern Red Sea, including a Maersk ship, have disrupted global trade and led to concerns about increased shipping costs impacting global inflation.
Impact of Recent Events on Global Trade:
The attacks by Houthi militants prompted concerns among shipping companies and cargo owners, leading to the rerouting of vessels away from the Red Sea.
Despite a multinational operation launched by the United States to safeguard commerce in the area, many shipping companies, including Maersk, have chosen to divert their vessels around Africa instead of using the Suez Canal.
Maersk initially attempted to resume voyages through the Red Sea but later decided to avoid the route connected to the Suez Canal.
However, some Maersk vessels were already en route towards Asia, having traversed the canal before the decision was made, leaving crews and containers uncertain.
Rerouting Details and Challenges:
Four Maersk container vessels – Maersk Genoa, Maersk Londrina, Ebba Maersk, and Gjertrud Maersk – previously stationed in the Red Sea were rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope, according to Maersk’s schedule.
Another vessel, Maersk Utah, was still in the area and had not yet been rerouted, although plans were in place to avoid sailing past Yemen.
Cost and Financial Impact:
Opting for the longer journey around Africa entails significant costs, including fresh fees for using the Suez Canal and increased expenses for fuel, resulting in delays and financial burdens for Maersk.
The decision to reroute vessels has already led Maersk to impose transit disruption and peak season surcharges, adding $700 to the cost of a standard container from China to Northern Europe.
The rerouting is expected to incur an additional $1 million in fuel costs for each round trip between Asia and Northern Europe, impacting global shipping expenses.