Maritime traffic shifts course amid Red Sea disturbances, South African traffic up by 53%.
Maritime traffic is experiencing a significant shift as maritime information platform Sea Live‘s exclusive data reveals a 53% surge in shipping across South Africa. There has been a corresponding drop in maritime traffic between the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden because of Houthi rebels attacking maritime vessels in the Red Sea.
Maritime traffic shifts
Security concerns in the Red Sea have led companies to divert vessels, impacting trade routes and leading major industry players, including Nippon Yusen Kaisha, MOL, and K Line, have altered their navigation strategies.
The attacks, which started last year with Yemeni rebels seizing the Galaxy Leader, a roll-on roll-off vessel carrying 4,500 vehicles headed to India from Turkey, are carried out by Ansar Allah militia members opposing Israel’s war on Gaza.
With notable casualties like the Genco Picardy, companies are adapting to a changing sea trade map. Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc recently warned of ongoing disruptions, the redirection around South Africa introduces logistical challenges, increasing journey lengths and potentially impacting shipping timelines.
Security concerns arising from Houthi attacks have led to a notable shift in shipping patterns, with vessels opting to circumvent the Cape of Good Hope for safety reasons. The recent absence of LNG carriers in the Red Sea, a first in the century, underscores the magnitude of this change.
38% drop in Red Sea tanker transits
AXS ship tracking data highlights a considerable reduction in tanker transit patterns through the area in December 2023, when an average of 26 oil and chemical tankers above 25,000 dwt per day transited the Bab el-Mandab Strait at the southern tip of the Red Sea. However, in the first half of January 2024, this figure dropped by 38% to an average of 16 tankers, according to new analysis from brokers Braemar.
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