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World's largest container carrier stops transporting cargo through Red Sea

16 December 2023 22:40 (UTC+04:00)
World's largest container carrier stops transporting cargo through Red Sea

The world's largest container carrier, the Danish company Maersk, has announced that all its vessels whose route runs through the southern Red Sea will stop operating in that direction from Friday, 15 December, due to attacks by Husitic militants, Azernews reports, citing Bloomberg news agency.

"Following yesterday's incident with Maersk Gibraltar and another attack on a container ship, we have instructed all Maersk vessels in the area that are due to pass through the Bab el-Mandab Strait to suspend their traffic until further notice from 15 December,"

The statement noted that militants have been attacking commercial ships linked to Israel in response to the conflict in the Gaza Strip. The attacks are taking place in a narrow section of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. This route provides access through the Suez Canal towards Egypt and further north. Three container ships have been attacked or damaged near Yemen in the past 24 hours. The company did not specify when its ships would return to the region.

Stop transportations through the Red Sea decided and the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, explaining that this measure will be valid until 18 December, after which it will be decided whether to resume its traffic. Earlier, a container ship operated by Hapag-Lloyd was shelled from Yemen by the Houthis.

Attacks on civilian ships in the Red Sea by the Houthi group Ansar Allah, which have become regular since November, have forced the US and its allies to seek a military response. The Houthis said on 13 December that they would attack all ships bound for Israel.

Traffic through the Red Sea accounts for 10 to 12 per cent of the world's maritime traffic and about 5 per cent of the world's oil transport.

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