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Red Sea Crisis

12 container ships divert from Red Sea over terror threat

Photo: ZIM ZIM vessel Sammy Ofer
At least 12 container vessels have diverted from transiting through the Red Sea to avoid potential attacks by Houthi militia taking the much longer route via the Cape of Good Hope, according to analyst Alphaliner.

Initially attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and the Straits of Hormuz, which have included hijackings and missile strikes, targeted Israeli-linked ships recent incidents such as the drone strike on the OOCL chartered containership Number 9 had no current Israeli links.

Alphaliner said in its weekly report that up 4 December some 12 containerships had diverted from transiting the Suez Canal to the much longer route via the Cape of Good Hope. Another six ships were expected to follow suit.

“Among the vessels that have already started their diversion are three units of 4,250 teu, three ships of 5,000 - 6,000 teu, four vessels of 15,000 teu and one unit of 19,000 teu,” the newsletter said.

Both Maersk and ZIM have publicly said they are diverting some vessels from the region.

A diversion by the Cape of Good Hope on a voyage from Shanghai to Rotterdam at a speed of 18 knots would increase the transit time from 25 to 33 days.

Alphaliner commented it remained to be seen if lines would deploy extra tonnage or skip some port calls on affected services.