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Shipping giant Maersk says Red Sea vessel diversions could extend into second half of 2024

Aerial view of cargo container ship.

On January 5, Maersk announced that it was suspending voyages through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden for the “foreseeable future” after the attack on the Maersk Hangzhou. After attacks on two U.S.-flagged Maersk vessels on January 24, the Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake, Maersk Line, Limited — a U.S. subsidiary of Maersk, which operates U.S.-flagged vessels independently — announced it would no longer traverse the Red Sea.

Panama and Suez Canal double crisis threatens global supply chains

Ship crossing Panama Canal being lowered at Miraflores Locks - Panama City, Panama

Persisting Suez Canal and Panama Canal-related supply chain delays and increased rates may see shippers and forwarders opting for air cargo. Shipping operations are currently being compromised by the need to avoid the Suez Canal due to the risk of attacks in the Red Sea, and restrictions on the Panama Canal following drought.

World’s two most important shipping canals now facing serious delays

Container ship sailing in sea

The world’s two largest shipping canals are facing delays and problems, threatening to snarl commodities shipping and push prices higher. Ships crossing through the Panama Canal have faced delays this year because of drought that has sent the canal’s water levels to record lows.