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Hapag-Lloyd: Red Sea Route Still Too Dangerous


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Hapag-Lloyd, one of the world’s largest shipping firms, has announced that it considers the passage through the Red Sea, a popular trade route for consumer goods, oil, and liquefied natural gas shipments, as “too dangerous”. The company has decided to continue rerouting its ships via the Cape of Good Hope, a detour of several thousand miles. This decision comes despite an international military operation to keep Yemen’s Houthi rebels from backing Hamas in the Israel-Gaza war.

Reasons for the Danger

Several ships using the Red Sea have come under attack from drones and rockets by Houthi rebels. In response, more than a dozen countries have joined a US coalition called Prosperity, which is working to protect the Red Sea routes. However, Hapag-Lloyd believes that the risks associated with the Red Sea route are still too high, and it will continue to avoid sending its container ships through this area.

Impact on the Shipping Industry

The Red Sea route is a crucial link in the global shipping network, and its closure or reduced usage can have significant implications for the industry. For example, Danish shipping firm Maersk has also stopped using the Red Sea route, but it has announced plans to resume operations. Other shipping companies, such as Hapag-Lloyd, are reviewing their decisions and may also consider resuming Red Sea operations in the future.

Alternative Routes

The alternative route to the Red Sea is around the Cape of Good Hope, which adds several thousand miles to the journey. This detour can lead to increased fuel costs and longer transit times, but it is considered a safer option due to the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea region.In conclusion, Hapag-Lloyd’s decision to avoid the Red Sea route highlights the ongoing dangers and uncertainties in the region. The company’s continued use of the Cape of Good Hope detour demonstrates its commitment to ensuring the safety of its crew and cargo. As the situation in the Red Sea remains uncertain, it is likely that other shipping companies will continue to exercise caution and consider alternative routes to minimize risks.

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