Maersk will avoid Red Sea despite EU security operation

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 11:33 AM

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Shipping company Maersk said on Friday it was too early to resume sailings through the Red Sea due to a continued elevated risk level, despite an initiative by the European Union to increase safety in the region.

Maersk, one of the world’s biggest container shipping companies, suspended Red Sea traffic on Jan. 5 and has since redirected ships via the Cape of Good Hope.

The EU’s naval mission in the southern Red Sea was launched in February to help protect the key maritime trade route from drone and missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militia, who say they are retaliating against Israel’s war on Gaza.

Maersk said in a statement on its website that it was aware that other shipping companies had continued sailing through the Red Sea or announced plans to resume sailing.

“We continue with our own assessment that the current situation does not allow us to make a similar decision,” it said.

“We still believe that sailing via the Cape of Good Hope and around Africa is the most reasonable solution at the moment and the one that currently allows the best supply chain stability, it added.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, editing by Terje Solsvik)