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Over $90m worth in goods for 7 countries on Iran seized MSC Aries

IRNA video screenshot MSC-Aries-Boarding.jpg
Big name shippers have tens of millions of dollars worth of cargo stuck onboard the container ship MSC Aries seized by Iranian forces on 13 April, according to data from Vizion.

The ship chartered by the world’s largest container line was targeted the Iranians for its Israeli links and is owned by Gortal Shipping, a finance company associated with Zodiac Maritime, controlled by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

Vizion said that its Tradeview data showed petrochemicals, plastic polymers, and steel products were most significant product types on the vessel when it was seized. Companies named in the shipments include Saudi Basic Industries Corp, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical.

Vizion highlighted seven countries that were significant destinations for cargo totalling 2,153 teu with a combined value of $93.6 million. A full list is shown below:

  • Algeria (237 teu and $10 million worth of goods) 
  • Belgium (409 teu - $15 million worth)
  • Egypt (211 teu - $12 million worth) 
  • Greece (319 teu - $10 million worth) 
  • India (255 teu - $10.6 million worth) 
  • Italy (238 teu - $14 million worth)
  • Turkey (514 teu $22 million worth)

It was noted that just 21 teu of cargo worth $3 million was bound for Israel.

“This incident highlights the fragile nature of global trade routes, especially in politically volatile regions. The Strait of Hormuz, a crucial waterway for oil transportation, has long been a hotspot for geopolitical tensions. The seizure of the MSC Aries serves as a stark reminder of the risks inherent in navigating these waters,” Vizion said.

“Beyond the immediate implications for the companies involved, this incident raises broader questions about security and stability in maritime trade. As tensions persist in key regions, stakeholders must reassess their risk management strategies to ensure the uninterrupted flow of goods across the globe.”

The US and UK governments have called for the immediate release of the vessel as have industry organisations the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).