While no merchant ships were attacked over the weekend, US Central Command reported that on Saturday an unmanned aerial vehicle launched from Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen was shot down by the US in international waters of the Southern Red Sea in the vicinity of multiple commercial vessels. This didn’t cause any injuries or damage.
The only global carrier who is regularly using the Red Sea route is CMA CGM. All other carriers have decided to divert around the Cape of Good Hope.
Equipment: Some carriers are experiencing localised shortages of equipment, but our team in China is reporting that equipment availability looks okay at the moment. The equipment situation is expected to become tighter by the end of January (week 4 and 5), as Chinese New Year approaches.
Space / Blank sailings
Vessels due to depart in the second half of the month are nearing capacity, so space is tight and will get tighter as vessels are unable to get back to Asia as scheduled. The latest information we have indicates an average capacity reduction of 30% across all three shipping alliances. This may lead to an increase in blank sailings as we approach the Chinese New Year period (10th Feb 2024).
Preparing for future bookings
Suppliers should be making their booking as early as possible – at least 3-4 weeks before vessel departure. We expect scheduling challenges to continue to be a problem over the next few months, so please plan ahead.
Our team is here to help. Please get in contact to discuss your specific situation or get the latest on the disruption.