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Hapag-Lloyd Adds To Shipping Firms Suspending Red Sea Activities


Wires reporting Germany's Hapag-Lloyd - the world's fifth largest shipping firm - have confirmed that they are suspending their Red Sea operations until at least 18 Dec due to security concerns arising from an uptick in aerial attacks on their ships from Houthi rebels in Yemen. This follows on from the earlier confirmation that the world's second-largest container shipping firm, Denmark's Maersk, would be suspending its shipping operations in the Red Sea 'until further notice' (see 1518GMT bullet).

  • Given the Red Sea provides one entrance to the Suez Canal, a crucial global shipping avenue, two of the world's largest container carriers suspending operations could have a significant impact on supply chains and trade depending on how long the suspension lasts.
  • The US and its allies are seeking to bolster their presence in the region in order to deter attacks, but given the entrenched position of Houthi rebels in Yemen and the significant support in terms of logistics and arms believed to be provided by Iran, it could prove difficult for US-aligned forces to entirely halt the attacks, largely made by drones and ballistic missiles.

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