Hapag-Lloyd to Decide on Wednesday Whether to Resume Red Sea Voyages

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday December 26, 2023

Container line Hapag-Lloyd is set to decide on Wednesday whether to resume voyages through the Red Sea.

AP Moller-Maersk announced on Sunday that it was preparing to resume the voyages after the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian to improve maritime security in the region.

Several leading shipping companies had instructed their vessels to avoid the Red Sea -- and by extension the Suez Canal -- after a spate of recent attacks on commercial shipping from Yemen's Houthi movement in the area.

"We will decide tomorrow how we will proceed," news agency Reuters cited a Hapag-Lloyd representative as saying on Tuesday.

Maersk's vessels appear to be receiving escorts from US warships into the Red Sea to enable their passage, which may have been the decisive factor in their decision to resume Suez transits. Ships operated by CMA CGM are reported to be receiving the same assistance from French warships.

It remains unclear to what extent these escorts will be applied more widely to the global fleet, and which flag ships will need to be registered to to receive this assistance.

A mass decision by the bulk of the global shipping industry to take longer voyages around Africa rather than using Suez will deliver a noticeable boost to bunker demand, with ports in Africa in particular likely to see a strong benefit.

Hapag-Lloyd is the world's fifth-largest container line by capacity.