Red Sea Situation – Daily Bulletin

Welcome to the second daily bulletin relating to the situation in the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

Situation update

There have been no significant incidents since Wednesday, 20th December, in the Red Sea. Splash 247 ( reports that whilst the US and Coalition of 10 countries have announced Operation Prosperity Guardian to defend ship navigation in the Red Sea, many oil majors, container lines and bulk owners have suspended Suez Canal Transits and/or opted for longer rerouting around Cape of Good Hope. Splash 247 also reports that several of the ultra-large containerships which had been stuck in the Red Sea between the Houthis in the south and a Suez transit to the north have now started moving, ready to pay another canal toll and to transit across the Mediterranean and down the west coast of Africa in order to get to Asia. Typically, this may add 9-14 days to a voyage length. Clarksons reports over 150 vessels have chosen to reroute to date, which will result in price increases, and also increased demand for bunkers, crew logistics and husbandry.

There is congestion in South African ports due to bad weather and equipment failures. However, there is sufficient bunker capacity, although Inchcape local port agents report halted supply at Algoa Bay due to customs and regulatory disputes.

All this means more uncertainty. Vincent Clerc, the CEO of Maersk, told CNBC, an American news channel, yesterday that it would take a “few weeks” for the task force to be fully operational, giving shippers and fellow owners a heads-up that the impasse in the Red Sea is here to stay into the new year.

Ambrey Daily Incident report:

    A Singapore-flagged bulk carrier was approached by four skiffs while transiting southbound through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, approximately 13M west of Dhubab, Yemen.
    A Liberia-flagged tanker sighted an aerial threat flying above the vessel while transiting eastbound through the Gulf of Aden closing on Point A of the International Recommended Transit Corridor
    A Malta-flagged bulk carrier was hijacked 380M east of Socotra Island. The crew were taken hostage and the vessel was transferred to Somali territorial waters.
    A Liberia-flagged tanker sighted an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flying in the vessel’s vicinity while exiting the Bab el-Mandeb Strait southbound approximately 7M south of Perim Island, Yemen.

Suez Canal Transits

The Suez Canal Authority has reported a 15% decline in transits, particularly of container vessels, in recent weeks. For instance, in Week 50, there were 82 container vessel transits, down from 100 just 4 weeks earlier. The trend line for December is now almost flat. As previously mentioned, over 150 vessels have diverted around the Cape of Good Hope.

Suez Canal Transits 1

How can Inchcape Shipping Services help?

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:

Subscribe to receive daily reports on the ongoing situation.