Business, Freight News, Sea

BIMCO: Red Sea, Gulf of Aden Cargo Down 21%

[ March 1, 2024   //   ]

Cargo volumes to and from ports in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea during the first seven months of 2024 declined 21 percent compared to the year-earlier period, according to BIMCO the international association for shipowners.
“The number of ships arriving in these ports significantly declined as merchant shipping increasingly avoided transiting through the region due to concerns over attacks on ships by the Houthis,” said Niels Rasmussen, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.
Houthi forces have been attacking ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 2023, and most container and gas carriers have begun to avoid the region.
In February, the number of ships transiting through the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal is 50 percent and 37 percent lower than last year, respectively. Container ship transits are down 70 percent in the region, which normally accounts for about 10 percent of global trade.
“The attacks on ships in the Red Sea are directly affecting the ability of countries in the region to import and export cargo. Even where alternative export routes exist, these often come at a higher cost, longer duration and with constraints to capacity,” Rasmussen said.
While Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt have alternate routes for container cargoes, other countries in the region do not have viable alternatives. The worsening conditions could affect the economies and possibly add to instability in several economies in the region. Yemen, Sudan and Somalia already suffer under armed conflicts, and the Red Sea’s instability makes it more challenging for them to receive international aid and could increase the cost of basic goods.
“A U.S.-led coalition and a recently launched maritime operation by the EU have been deployed with the aim to safeguard ships in the Red Sea,” Rasmussen said. “However, the attacks have not yet ceased, and the outlook remains uncertain. Until a solution emerges, regional economies will continue to bear the cost.”

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