CMA CGM announced this week that their vessels would be following the Cape Of Good Hope route and avoiding the Red Sea, which now means that all major carriers are taking the longer journeys.
The French carrier were the only carrier within the major alliances that were continuing to route some services through the Suez Canal, but as attacks on ships have continued they have changed their stance.
This week, a UK-owned ship was reportedly targeted in the Red Sea, west of Yemen. A projectile passed over the deck and damaged the bridge windows, but luckily the crew are safe and the vessel was able to proceed as planned.
This coming weekend – from February 10th – sees China’s export production effectively close down for a fortnight as we enter a new ‘Year of the Dragon’. This should assist carriers with their plans to add more capacity, which is reportedly being introduced, as it takes a few weeks for ships to get into position and the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) break in sailings should be of benefit.
Ocean freight rates have spiralled since the Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea, following schedule disruption, capacity issues and equipment shortages. Some are predicting that this will ease following CNY, with demand likely to be lower as China starts to crank production back up and also with more capacity in service.
Of course, that remains to be seen and the team at Unique will be monitoring developments closely. In the meantime, we wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year!