Industry News

CMA CGM announces return to Red Sea, Hapag-Lloyd may follow


France's CMA CGM said on Tuesday it was planning to gradually increase sailings through the Red Sea. But there remains considerable uncertainty over the timing and scope of its plans as shipping attacks in the region continue.

CMA CGM is one of several shipping lines rerouting the Cape of Good Hope amid a surge in drone and missile attacks against international shipping by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen over the past month.

The latest news released by CMA CGM on Tuesday showed that the company has so far changed the routes of 13 northbound ships and 15 southbound ships, and some ships have transited through the Red Sea. The company said the decision was "based on an in-depth assessment of the security situation" and its commitment to the safety and security of its seafarers.

"We are currently developing plans to gradually increase the number of ships passing through the Suez Canal." CMA CGM said in its latest message: "We are constantly monitoring the situation and stand ready to quickly reassess and adjust our plans as necessary."

The company added: "We have advanced safety procedures in place to ensure the safety of our crew and vessel. This is our top priority in response to the severe situation in the Red Sea region."

On the other hand, a spokesman for German container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd said the group will decide on Wednesday whether to resume voyages through the Red Sea.

A Hapag-Lloyd spokesman said on Tuesday: "We will decide tomorrow how to proceed." The spokesman declined to comment further.

Hapag-Lloyd said last week it would adjust the routes of 25 ships by the end of the year to avoid the sea area.

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