Industry News

The Red Sea crisis has escalated again! The Maersk giant ship was attacked for the second time and its return plan was forced to be suspended!


Maersk ships were attacked twice in just 24 hours

Just days after global freight giant Maersk announced a gradual return to the Red Sea, it found itself at the center of escalating tensions. They found that as they returned, their merchant ships seemed to be targeted by missiles and small boats from the Houthi armed group in Yemen.

According to the U.S. Central Command, on the evening of December 30, Sana’a time, the Maersk Hangzhou ship was attacked by Yemeni Houthi armed forces while passing through the Red Sea.

The "Maersk Hangzhou" ship that was attacked this time is one of the first 59 container ships that Maersk officially announced on December 28 to return to the Red Sea. The ship serves Maersk's Asia-Europe route.

The U.S. Central Command stated on social media that the United States shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles in areas controlled by the Houthi armed forces in Yemen in response to a request for ship assistance. There were no reports of injuries.

Just when everyone thought the ship was safe and sound, the "Maersk Hangzhou" ship sent a second distress signal in less than 24 hours.

The ship was reportedly attacked by four Iranian-backed Houthi boats. U.S. Central Command said the boats came from areas controlled by the Houthi armed forces in Yemen and fired small arms at the Maersk Hangzhou less than 20 meters away from the ship and that the crew on board attempted to board.

After receiving the rescue, the U.S. Navy launched a counterattack. Three Houthi armed ships were sunk, all crew members on board were killed, and another ship escaped. Houthi armed spokesman Yahya Sarea also confirmed on the same day that the attack was launched because the crew refused to heed warnings. Ten Houthi naval personnel "died and disappeared" after being attacked by US forces in the Red Sea.

A spokesman for the Houthi armed forces responded that the United States would "bear the consequences" for attacking and killing 10 Houthi militants, and added that the Red Sea escort operation launched by the United States "will not prevent the Houthi armed forces in Yemen from fulfilling their humanitarian mission to support Palestine and Gaza." doctrinal obligations”.

So far, Maersk has officially announced that it will suspend ships passing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait for 48 hours.

Everyone is watching how long Maersk will suspend sailings this time

After Maersk announced on December 24 that it would resume the Red Sea route, as one of the world's leading shipping giants, his decision was immediately followed.

At that time, on the third day after Maersk announced that it would resume sailing, CMA CGM announced that it would gradually increase the number of ships heading to the Suez Canal.

This time Maersk's ships were suspended again after being attacked. Everyone is speculating on how many other shipping companies that still choose to pass through the Suez Canal will follow suit.

John Kartsonas, managing partner at supply chain and shipping research firm Breakwave Advisors, said if Maersk decides to extend the current shutdown beyond a few days, other companies in the industry may follow suit.

Large cargo ships passing through the Suez Canal changed course after the Houthi armed forces launched an attack and instead circled southern Africa. These large cargo ships transport approximately 12% of the world's cargo.

Everstream Analytics, which analyzes supply chains, said this month that one in 14 container ships and tankers on the main shipping route between the Mediterranean and Red Seas is diverting south.

Analysts believe that the exchange of fire between the United States and the Houthi armed forces has intensified the risk of shipping in the Red Sea and will have a chain reaction on the global supply chain.

"This is definitely an upgrade that will change things," said Robert Khachatryan, CEO of Freight Right Global Logistics in Los Angeles.

"There are many ships passing through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal," he said. "It is impossible for the military to escort every ship. And even if there is an escort, they may still be hit by missiles from inland."

At present, CMA CGM has not announced that it will stop returning sailings.

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyze site traffic and personalize content. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy Policy
Reject Accept