Hapag-Lloyd Set to Make Decision on Red Sea Routes on Wednesday

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Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd is poised to make a crucial decision on Wednesday regarding the resumption of voyages through the Red Sea, as per a spokesperson’s announcement on Tuesday. This decision comes at a time when Maersk, in the wake of US-led initiatives to prevent attacks, is preparing to return to the region.

Major shipping companies, including Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, ceased using Red Sea routes due to recent targeting of vessels by Yemen’s Houthi militant group, causing disruptions in global trade through the Suez Canal.

Instead, these companies have opted for rerouting their journeys via southern Africa, despite it being a longer and costlier route. However, the Suez Canal remains the fastest sea route connecting Asia and Europe.

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“We will decide tomorrow how we will proceed,” stated a spokesperson for Hapag-Lloyd on Tuesday, refraining from elaborating further. Last week, the company had announced plans to redirect 25 ships away from the area by the year’s end.

Meanwhile, Maersk announced on Sunday its preparations to recommence shipping operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, citing the deployment of a US-led military operation aimed at ensuring the safety of commerce in the region.

Requests for comments made on Tuesday to Maersk regarding the timetable for vessel return to the Suez Canal and details about support from the US-led maritime force remained unanswered at that time.

Amid these developments, a British maritime authority reported two explosions in the Red Sea, occurring near a vessel sailing off Yemen’s coast. This incident took place shortly after the sighting of two unmanned aircraft. The maritime authority mentioned that the vessel remained in contact with coalition forces, assuring the crew’s safety and the vessel’s continued voyage.