Maersk pauses all vessels bound for Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

Situation constantly evolving, remains highly volatile, says Danish shipping company

Gökhan Ergöçün  | 06.01.2024 - Update : 06.01.2024
Maersk pauses all vessels bound for Red Sea, Gulf of Aden


Maersk announced Friday that it will pause vessels bound for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden "in light of the recent incident involving Maersk Hangzhou and ongoing developments in the area." 

"The situation is constantly evolving and remains highly volatile, and all available intelligence at hand confirms that the security risk continues to be at a significantly elevated level," said the Danish shipping company.

After an earlier pause in operations, the company decided to resume Dec. 24 after a multinational security initiative deployed forces against attacks. But Maersk paused again Tuesday.

The company said Tuesday: "In cases where it makes most sense for our customers, vessels will be rerouted and continue their journey around the Cape of Good Hope.

"We remain committed to minimising the impact on our customers’ supply chains and will continue to keep you updated on the situation."

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group, officially known as Ansar Allah, has significantly stepped up its involvement in the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The group has warned it will attack all Israeli-bound ships in the Red Sea -- one of the world's most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments -- in a bid to support Palestinians as they face Israel's aggression and siege in Gaza.

Several of the world's largest container companies have suspended operations in the region.

Amid the Houthi attacks, the US announced the creation of a multinational mission to counter them.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the escalating attacks threatened the free flow of commerce, endangered innocent mariners, and violated international law.

Maersk said Friday: "We understand the potential impact this will have on your logistics operations, but please rest assured that all decisions have been carefully considered and ultimately prioritise the safety of our vessels, seafarers and your cargo."

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