AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST – CMA CGM Group and MSC has joined Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk in pausing shipping through the Suez Canal Red Sea after attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants from Yemen.

The recent attack on MSC Palatium III while traversing the Red Sea compelled MSC to announce the suspension of operations along the route.

MSC, in a statement to, confirmed the rerouting of some services through the Cape of Good Hope to ensure the safety of seafarers.

This redirection is expected to impact sailing schedules by several days, underscoring the seriousness of the situation.

Israeli ocean carrier ZIM opted to reroute vessels away from the Arabian and Red Seas, steering clear of Houthi threats by navigating via the Cape of Good Hope.

Despite adding 10 to 14 days to travel time and incurring higher fuel costs due to the longer distance, this decision prioritizes vessel and crew safety.

Echoing these sentiments, the CMA CGM Group expressed deep concern over the escalating attacks, prompting a strategic decision to direct containerships scheduled for the Red Sea to safe areas.

The company has taken proactive measures to safeguard vessels and crews while ensuring ongoing transportation services for customers.

“CMA CGM is taking all necessary steps to preserve its transportation services for its customers,” outlined the group in their recent Customer Advisory statement.

The suspension of Red Sea routes by these prominent shipping companies reflects a collective prioritization of seafarer safety amidst a volatile security landscape.

The situation continues to evolve, with companies closely monitoring developments to make informed decisions about resuming operations in the affected areas.

Similarly, Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk had earlier declared halts in their services through the area, citing alarming security threats.

Maersk articulated its concerns, emphasizing the safety of seafarers: “We are deeply concerned about the highly escalated security situation in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.”

“The recent attacks on commercial vessels in the area are alarming and pose a significant threat to the safety and security of seafarers.”

Instructing vessels to pause their journeys through the Bab al-Mandab Strait until further notice, Maersk highlighted the paramount importance of employee safety amidst this challenging scenario.

The company assured close monitoring of the situation while striving to minimize disruptions to customers’ supply chains.

For all the latest fresh produce industry news updates from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.