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Red Sea Crisis

CMA CGM resumes Red Sea transits on ‘case-by-case’ basis

Photo: Marcus Hand CMA CGM container ship at berth in Singapore
A CMA CGM container ship at berth in Singapore
Container line CMA CGM has resumed transit of some vessels through the Red Sea on a case-by-case basis, despite continued Houthi attacks on shipping transiting the region.

In an operations update to customers dated 28 February CMA CGM said it had “reevaluated the situation in the Southern Area of the Red Sea and the evolving conditions allow us to resume transit on case-by-case basis”. 

The world’s third largest container line said the situation was being “closely assessed” for each vessel prior to transit and therefore it was not possible to communicate routing choices in advance. Other vessels from the company will continue to take the longer route via the Cape of Good Hope avoiding the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The French liner company ceased transits of the Red Sea on 1 February routing all its vessels via the Cape of Good Hope citing the safety of its seafarers being the company’s priority at all times.

CMA CGM was one of last major container lines stop transiting the Red Sea and the decision to reroute all vessels via the Cape followed an unsuccessful missile attack by Houthi rebels in Yemen on the 8,600 teu container ship Koi chartered by CMA CGM.

Transiting via the Cape rather than the Red Sea and the Suez Canal between Asia – Europe/Med adds around 10 -14 days to a voyage in each direction. Analysts estimate around 80% of container ships have switched to transiting round the Cape.

The US led coalition Operation Prosperity Guardian continued to shoot down Houthi attack drones it said were targeted at merchant shipping on 27 February. On 24 February a missile targeted at the US-flagged tanker Torm Thor missed the vessel and impacted the water.