Red Sea Situation – Bulletin

Welcome to the Inchcape Red Sea Situation daily bulletin relating to the situation in the Red Sea and Suez Canal for Tuesday, 20th of February.

We are very pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Ambrey to transform safety and security in the maritime sector by providing Citadel Inspections, Ship Security Assessments, Anti-Piracy Ship Security Assessments, Ship Security Plan Reviews, and Port Security Assessments. For more information, please see the announcement – Ambrey and Inchcape Shipping Services Join Forces to Revolutionize Safety and Security in the Maritime Sector.

Situation Update

On Sunday 18th February US Centcom reported on X (formerly Twitter), “Between 9:30 and 10:45 p.m., Feb. 18, two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched from Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen toward MV Rubymar, a Belize-flagged, UK-owned bulk carrier. One of the missiles struck the vessel, causing damage. The ship issued a distress call and a coalition warship along with another merchant vessel responded to the call to assist the crew of the MV Rubymar. The crew was transported to a nearby port by the merchant vessel.”

Ambrey Reported “A Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier was physically damaged by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The master reported that the bulker had incurred superficial damage to the accommodation superstructure. No injury to the crew was reported. The bulker was underway from Kamarajar Port, India, and headed towards Ravenna, Italy. She stated “All Chinese” on her AIS destination when it was switched on. The bulker switched off her AIS transmissions 2.5 hours prior to the incident. The bulker’s group owner nationality was publicly listed as the United States of America. The Houthis claimed responsibility for attacking the bulker, which they described as an “American ship.””

On the previous day Centcom reported: “Between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Sanaa time), Feb. 17, CENTCOM successfully conducted five self-defense strikes against three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, one unmanned underwater vessel (UUV), and one unmanned surface vessel (USV) in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.”

Important to note that Ambrey has updated its Houthi Targeting Profile – “The Houthis continue to target Israeli, American, and British-linked shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. So far in February, four vessels have been targeted by the Houthis, all with these affiliations. As well as the under-appreciation of historic links of vessels, there is a misperception in parts of the industry that having certain affiliations will altogether negate an attack. The broadening of Houthi targeting of Israeli-affiliations evidences that the target profiles are not fixed, and assessments should be revisited with every warning and event. Ambrey is performing an Ambrey Vessel Affiliation Check (AVAC) for every physical and digital transit and is delivering its Guardian services alongside every physical security transit. Ambrey is also receiving a record number of requests for support in settling charter-party disputes, many of which are ex post facto, indicating a need to engage such services earlier.”

Suez Canal Transits

Yesterday, there were 47 Suez Canal transits, with 33 transits each on Saturday and Sunday. While 33 is below the average, wide differences from day to day were not unusual in the past. Leth Agencies have informed us that, on average, there were 75 transits a day in 2023.

Suez Canal Transits

Algeciras and Gibraltar

Algeciras and Gibraltar remain busy. However, flows are working well with no disruption. Today, Algeciras has 46 vessels at berth and 74 in port. A further 11 are at Anchorage. 36 vessels departed in the last 24 hours, 37 have arrived and a further 11 are expected in the next 24 hours. Vessel turnaround for Container vessel at 23:15 hours (23:30 hours last week) and but improving for Tankers at 43:18 hours (41:18 hours last week). We are experiencing congestion at Gibraltar with TRT is around 24hrs, many clients are opting to change stem to Algeciras where the situation is more fluid delays there around 8hrs. For enquiries, please contact email, tel +34 956 022 570.

There is a better picture at Gibraltar, although busy, with vessels at 16 of the 17 available berths and 28 vessels in port. 11 vessels are arriving in the next 24 hours, and 14 departed in the last 24 hours. To contact email, tel +350 20072685.

Algeciras and Gibraltar 2
Ports of Algeciras and Gibraltar. Source:

Cape Town

Activity at Cape Town is steady with 23 vessels at the 51 available berths. 4 Vessels arrived in the previous 24 hours with a further 3 arriving in the next 24 Hours. For enquiries please contact

Cape Town
Port of Cape Town, South Africa. Source:

How can Inchcape Shipping Services help?

As mentioned in previous posts Inchcape Shipping Services announced investment in Leth Agencies. For more information please read the press release. You can continue to contact for immediate assistance or visit our network for more information.

In addition to Algeciras and Gibraltar, Inchcape Shipping Services is well established in Africa when considering to divert around the Cape of Good Hope.  With 14 port offices and a network of carefully selected and vetted partners, our team of experienced agents offer top-notch support and expertise to vessels when they are in port, covering everything from crew welfare and customs formalities to fuel supply and waste management.

We provide:

  • 24/7 availability with a local Inchcape representative.
  • Direct liaison with the vessel on all aspects of the call when required.
  • Critical local expertise and liaison with managing local authorities.
  • Assist with crew logistics, including transport to and from the airport, accommodation, and medical assistance.
  • Coordination and facilitation of bunker supplies, supervision and sampling.

Our team are ready to support you in Africa and Mauritius. Please contact us for a prompt PDA on these email addresses:

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