Factbox-Shipping firms react to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea

(Reuters) -Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen have stepped up attacks on vessels in the Red Sea to show their support for Palestinian Islamist group Hamas fighting Israel in Gaza.

The attacks, aimed at a route that allows East-West trade, especially of oil, to use the Suez Canal to save the time and expense of circumnavigating Africa, prompted some shipping companies to reroute vessels earlier in December.

Below are companies’ reactions (in alphabetical order) to the situation in the Red Sea:


The global logistics group said on Dec. 22 it had rerouted more than 25 vessels around the Cape of Good Hope over the past week, and that number would likely continue to grow.

“Blank sailings and rate increases are expected to continue across many trades into Q1 of 2024,” it added.


The French shipping group is planning a gradual increase in the number of vessels transiting the Suez Canal, it said on Dec. 26. “This decision is based on an in-depth evaluation of the security landscape and our commitment to the security and safety of our seafarers,” CMA CGM said in a statement.

The company had previously rerouted several vessels via the Cape of Good Hope.


The Belgian oil tanker firm said on Dec. 18 it would avoid the Red Sea area until further notice.


The Taiwanese container shipping line said on Dec. 18 its vessels on regional services to Red Sea ports would sail to safe waters nearby and wait for further notification, while ships scheduled to pass through the Red Sea would be rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope. It also temporarily stopped accepting Israeli cargo.


The Norway-based oil tanker group said on Dec. 18 that its vessels would avoid passages through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.


The Norwegian shipping company, which specialises in pure car truck carriers, said on Dec. 21 its vessels were restricted from passing through the Red Sea.


The German container shipping line told Reuters on Dec. 29 it has decided to continue to divert its vessels around the Suez Canal for security reasons. It added that a next assessment would be made on Jan. 2.

A projectile believed to be a drone struck one of its vessels sailing close to the coast of Yemen on Dec. 15. No crew were injured.


The South Korean container shipper said on Dec. 19 it had ordered its ships from Europe that would normally use the Suez Canal to reroute via the Cape of Good Hope for an indefinite period of time from Dec. 15.


The Norwegian shipping company said on Dec. 20 it would stop Red Sea transit after the Norwegian Maritime Authority raised its alert for the southern part of the sea to the highest level.


The Norway-based fleet operator said on Dec. 28 it was unlikely to sail any of its vessels in the Red Sea, unless the situation improves.


The Danish shipping group said on Dec. 31 it was pausing se all sailing through the Red Sea for 48 hours, after Houthi militants attacked the container vessel Maersk Hangzhou with missiles and small boats.

On Dec. 27 it had scheduled several dozen container vessels to travel via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the coming days and weeks.


Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said on Dec. 16 its ships would not transit through the Suez Canal, with some already rerouted via the Cape of Good Hope, a day after two ballistic missiles were fired at its vessel.


Ocean Network Express (ONE), a joint venture of Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, said on Dec. 19 it would reroute vessels away from the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Instead, its ships will navigate around the Cape of Good Hope or temporarily pause their journey and move to safe areas.


The Hong Kong-headquartered container group said on Dec. 21 it had guided its vessels to either divert route or suspend sailing to the Red Sea. The company, owned by Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, has also stopped cargo acceptance to and from Israel until further notice.

O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen

Japan’s largest shipping companies said their vessels with links to Israel were avoiding the Red Sea area. Both companies also said they were monitoring the situation.


The Norwegian shipping group said on Dec. 19 it would halt Red Sea transits until further notice. Rerouting vessels via the Cape of Good Hope will add 1-2 weeks to voyage durations, it said.


The Taiwanese container shipping company said on Dec. 18 it would divert ships sailing through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden via the Cape of Good Hope for the next two weeks.

(Compiled by Paolo Laudani, Izabela Niemiec and Jesus Calero in GdanskEditing by Milla Nissi, Kirsten Donovan, Andrew Heavens, William Maclean and Frances Kerry)