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  May 7th, 2024 | Written by

Maersk Warns of Continued Red Sea Disruptions, Affecting Global Shipping Capacity

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A. P. Moller Maersk, a leading container shipping company, has issued a stark warning about the ongoing disruptions in the Red Sea, indicating significant repercussions for the industry’s capacity in the second quarter.

Read also: Rising Spot Rates and Container Demand Surge in the Wake of Red Sea Turmoil, ahead of the Chinese New Year

Recent attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi militants have escalated tensions in the region, prompting Maersk to project a notable reduction of shipping capacity between the Far East and Europe by 15%-20% in the coming months. These disruptions force vessels to take longer routes, resulting in increased voyage times and freight rates.

Since December, Maersk and other shipping companies have rerouted vessels around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope to circumvent the risk zone in the Red Sea. However, the expanded threat area and persistent attacks have extended journey times, amplifying costs and logistical challenges.

Maersk anticipates that these disruptions will persist until the year’s end, leading to bottlenecks, vessel congestion, and shortages of equipment and capacity. In response, the company is implementing measures to enhance reliability, including faster sailing and the addition of capacity, with over 125,000 additional containers already leased.

The ongoing disruptions in the Red Sea are part of a broader geopolitical context, with tensions in the region heightened by recent strikes targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities. Despite efforts to safeguard shipping lanes, the continued disruptions underscore the profound impact on global trade and shipping operations.

As the industry navigates these challenges, Maersk’s warning serves as a reminder of the complex interplay between geopolitical tensions and maritime commerce, highlighting the urgent need for strategic solutions to ensure the stability and resilience of global supply chains.