In response to ongoing security concerns leading to diversions from the Red Sea, Hapag-Lloyd has launched a temporary but innovative solution to address service disruptions, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. After a recent security review, the company confirmed the continuation of vessel diversions, aligning with similar decisions made by other carriers like Maersk.
The diversions have significantly impacted more than 100 voyages on routes connecting Asia to Europe, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, and even the U.S. East Coast Loop. To mitigate the challenges caused by the Suez Canal situation, Hapag-Lloyd is introducing land service corridors from Jebel Ali, Dammam, and Jubail to Jeddah. This move aims to alleviate delays and challenges while also providing a connection to neighboring Jordan.
“While this may not optimize capacity, it offers an additional option to current transit times, especially where alternative routings become excessively long,” states Hapag-Lloyd. The company assures customers of ongoing efforts to expand the inland network and encourages them to “stay tuned” for further updates.
Hapag-Lloyd, known for servicing 55 ports and having 53 inland terminals in the Middle East, acknowledges the unconventional nature of this solution. Yet, it marks a series of steps taken by carriers to address disruptions, including vessel additions and the activation of idled ships. The increased demand has notably boosted the charter ship market, keeping vessel prices high.
Notably, more than 500 out of 700 container vessels scheduled for routes through the Red Sea have already been diverted. In response to the disruptions and unpredictability in the region, CMA CGM decided to reroute its Northern Europe – Australia vessels around Africa, emphasizing the dynamic challenges carriers face in maintaining regular routes in the current maritime landscape.