Maersk to pause all container ship traffic through the Red Sea


Helsinki (Reuters) – Danish shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) will pause all container shipments through the Red Sea until further notice, a spokesperson for the company told Reuters on Friday.

“Following the near-miss incident involving Maersk Gibraltar yesterday and yet another attack on a container vessel today, we have instructed all Maersk vessels in the area bound to pass through the Bab al-Mandab Strait to pause their journey until further notice,” the company said in a statement.

Maersk on Thursday said its vessel Maersk Gibraltar was targeted by a missile while travelling from Salalah, Oman, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and that the crew and vessel were reported safe.

Earlier on Friday Maersk denied a claim by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement that the militia had struck a Maersk vessel sailing towards Israel.

“The vessel was not hit,” a Maersk spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement following the Houthi claim.

The Houthis had claimed they carried out a military operation against a Maersk container vessel, directly hitting it with a drone. The Houthis, who made the claim in a statement, did not release any evidence.

Maersk said the company was deeply concerned about the highly escalated security situation in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

“The recent attacks on commercial vessels in the area are alarming and pose a significant threat to the safety and security of seafarers,” it wrote in the statement.

(This story has been corrected after Maersk clarified that ships are not being rerouted around Africa, in paragraph 1)

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