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Denmark’s Maersk gears up to restart Red Sea operations

Denmark’s shipping major Maersk is planning to resume shipping operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden following the deployment of the multinational security initiative.

The company had paused all vessel passage through the area earlier this month over the highly escalated security situation ensuing from attacks by Houthi militants based in Yemen.

“As of December 24, 2023, we have received confirmation that the previously announced multinational security initiative Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) has now been set up and deployed to allow maritime commerce to pass through the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden and once again return to using the Suez Canal as a gateway between Asia and Europe,” Masersk said in a statement.

“With the OPG initiative in operation, we are preparing to allow for vessels to resume transit through the Red Sea both eastbound and westbound,” it added.

The US announced the launch of the multinational operation to protect commerce in the Red Sea. Maersk noted that although security measures are in place to enable the transit of the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden for its vessels, the overall risk in the area is not eliminated at this stage.

“We will not hesitate to re-evaluate the situation and once again initiate diversion plans if necessary for the safety of its seafarers,” the statement said.

Attacks in the lower Red Sea have resulted in a sharp rise in shipping costs. 

While regional importers are unlikely to see any immediate impact over the holiday period, shortages and supply chain issues will start to take hold in February, an industry expert has said.

“We can expect a temporary spike in the prices of products travelling through the Red Sea,” Dnyanada Kulkarni, senior research analyst at Century Financial told AGBI.

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