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Red Sea Crisis

Seatrade Maritime News readers divided over Red Sea diversions

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Houthi attacks on shipping in the Southern Red Sea have seen many ship operators rerouting vessels via the Cape of Good Hope, but despite the risk others have continued to send vessels through the region.

So which do you think is the rght decision? In our most recent poll we asked Seatrade Maritime News readers, Are some shipowners and charterers right to risk continuing to transit the Red Sea given the threat of attack?

The response to the question was very evenly split with 53% voting ‘yes’ they were right to continue transiting the Red Sea, while 47% said ‘no’ they should not transit the Red Sea.

The results in many ways mirror the industry’s reaction which has varied significantly by sector. Around two-thirds of all container ships have diverted via the Cape of Good Hope, with CMA CGM joining other top lines in this decision over the weekend. Similarly, LNG carrier transits of the Suez Canal 73% in January 2024 compared to November 2023, according to figures published by Kpler.

However, when compared tanker and dry bulk ship transits of the Suez Canal between January 2024 and November 2023 these reduced by just 23% and 27% respectively over the same period.

There would appear no resolution to the attacks on commercial shipping in the near term as the conflict in Gaza continues and Houthi rebels vowing to continuing to strike at vessels with either Israeli links or cargoes. This leaves it down to individual shipowners, operators, and charterers to weigh the risk to vessels, crew and cargoes of continuing to transit the Red Sea