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Container ships are still avoiding the Suez Canal because of attacks

Container ships are still avoiding the Suez Canal because of ongoing attacks by Houthi rebels from Yemen on ships in the Red Sea. The majority of the container sector does not expect to be able to use that route again in the short term, according to a report by research firm Drewry. 'It is extremely uncertain' stresses FD journalist Pieter Lalkens. BNR Radio reports.

A container ship sails through the Suez Canal. Photo:

Due to ongoing attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, container ships are still avoiding the Suez Canal. These ships have to detour, extending travel time by an average of seven to 10 days and incurs significant additional costs.

The container sector is pessimistic about the situation. According to a survey by Drewry, 60 percent of major shippers and freight forwarders do not expect the Suez Canal to be safely navigable again until the first half of 2025. Fourteen per cent think this will not happen until the second half of 2025, while a small proportion (17 per cent) hope it will be possible as early as later this year.

The ongoing attacks have led to disruptions in sailing schedules, clogged ports and rising costs. "This is costing everyone money," concludes Lalkens, who notes that container prices have risen by tens of per cent in recent weeks.

Although 60 percent of those surveyed think it will take at least another three months for prices to normalise, prices are expected to fall sharply once the Suez Canal can be safely reopened.

Source: BNR

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