The German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd says it still avoids the Red Sea and detours via the Cape of Good Hope even now that a maritime task force is trying to protect ships against attacks by Houthi rebels from Yemen.
This was reason enough for the Danish shipping group Maersk to prepare to resume shipping through the vital shipping route on Monday.
The alternative sailing route means a detour of many thousands of kilometres. But in this way, cargo ships know how to avoid the danger in the Red Sea. The Houthi rebels regularly attacked cargo ships in retaliation for Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip. Large shipping companies then decided to avoid the route.
The new task force, led by the United States, is now reassuring for some shipping companies. Earlier this week, Maersk spoke of “very welcome news for the entire industry”, although the shipping company also recognized that “the overall risk in the area has not been eliminated”. Maersk did not rule out reconsidering its decision if the safety of ships and employees were again at risk.
In addition to Maersk, French container carrier CMA CGM reported on Tuesday that it is preparing to allow more ships to sail through the Red Sea.