Join our crew and become one of the 105,268 members that receive our newsletter.

Oil Tanker Bridge

Photo by Anatoly Menzhiliy/Shutterstock

UPDATED LIST: Shipping Giants Pause Red Sea Voyages as Attacks Mount

Total Views: 6444
December 18, 2023

Updated December 19, 2023


Dec 18 (Reuters) – Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen have stepped up attacks on vessels in the Red Sea to show their support for Palestinian Islamist group Hamas fighting Israel in Gaza. 

The attacks, targeting a route that allows East-West trade, especially of oil, to use the Suez Canal to save the time and expense of circumnavigating Africa, have pushed some shipping companies to re-route vessels to avoid the area. 

Below are companies (in alphabetical order) that are considering or have decided to pause shipping via the Red Sea:


Oil major BP on Dec. 18 said it had temporarily paused all transits through the Red Sea.


French shipping group CMA CGM said on Dec. 18 it was rerouting some vessels via the Cape of Good Hope, and had instructed all its other container ships that were scheduled to pass through the Red Sea to reach safe areas and pause their journey until further notice.


Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor on Dec. 18 said it had re-routed some vessels that had been heading towards the Red Sea.


Belgian oil tanker firm Euronav said on Dec. 18 it would avoid the Red Sea area until further notice.


Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen said on Dec. 18 its vessels on regional services to Red Sea ports would sail to safe waters nearby and wait for further notification, while ships scheduled to pass through the Red Sea would be re-routed around the Cape of Good Hope. It also temporarily stopped accepting Israeli cargo.


Norway-based oil tanker group Frontline said on Dec. 18 that its vessels will avoid passages through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in the time ahead, boosting the rates customers must pay for crude transport.


German container shipping line Hapag Lloyd said on Dec. 18 it would re-route several ships via the Cape of Good Hope until the safety of passage through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea could be guaranteed.

A projectile believed to be a drone struck its vessel Al Jasrah on Dec. 15, while sailing close to the coast of Yemen. No crew were injured.


South Korean container shipper HMM said on Dec. 19 it had from Dec. 15 ordered its ships from Europe that would normally use the Suez Canal to reroute via the Cape of Good Hope for an indefinite period of time.


Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk on Dec. 15 said it would pause all container shipments through the Red Sea until further notice, following a “near-miss incident” involving its vessel Maersk Gibraltar a day earlier. The ship was targeted by a missile while traveling from Salalah, Oman, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the company said.

On Dec. 19, Maersk said vessels that were due to sail through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden would be re-routed around the Cape of Good Hope.


Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said on Dec. 16 its ships would not transit through the Suez Canal, with some already rerouted via the Cape of Good Hope, a day after Houthi forces fired two ballistic missiles at its MSC Palatium III vessel. The decision will disrupt sailing schedules by several days, the Switzerland-based group said.


Ocean Network Express (ONE), a joint venture of Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, said on Dec. 19 it had decided to re-route vessels away from the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Instead, ONE will navigate its ships around the Cape of Good Hope or temporarily pause their journey and reposition them in safe areas.


Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has stopped cargo acceptance to and from Israel until further notice, theshipping company owned by Hong Kong-based Oriental Overseas (International) Ltd 0316.HK said on Dec. 16.


Norway’s Wallenius Wilhelmsen said on Dec. 19 it would halt Red Sea transits until further notice. It said re-routing vessels via the Cape of Good Hope would add one to two weeks to voyage durations.


Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport said on Dec. 18 it would divert ships sailing through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden via the Cape of Good Hope for the next two weeks.

(Reporting by Paolo Laudani, Izabela Niemiec and Jesus Calero in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi and Jason Neely)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 105,268 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

gCaptain’s full coverage of the maritime shipping industry, including containerships, tankers, dry bulk, LNG, breakbulk and more.