Non-domestic arrivals to Israel slow as security risks rise
The threat assessment to commercial shipping remains unchanged
Vessel callings in the weeks following Hamas’ first attack are lower than in the previous period but appear stable, Lloyd’s List Intelligence data shows
ARRIVALS of cargo-carrying vessels into Israeli ports from foreign markets are down 11.3% in the three weeks following Hamas’ attack on the country, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel-tracking data.
Some 235 vessels berthed in one of Israel’s ports between October 8 and October 28, in the three weeks until October 7 this figure was 265.
Although vessel arrivals are down, we are not seeing a continuous decrease indicating a degree of stability.
Ashdod, Israel’s second-busiest port, has seen the largest drop in vessel arrivals, down 21% in the three weeks after the start of the war.
Ashdod is about 35km north of Gaza. Some shipowners have rerouted from Ashdod to the more northerly Haifa.
No ships are yet known to have been damaged during the conflict.
Last week Israel’s Administration of Shipping and Ports issued a statement reassuring shipowners of the safety of trading out of Israeli ports.
It reminded maritime traders of the queue system whereby vessels are waiting 18 nautical miles west of Haifa and Ashdod until they are given the go ahead to berth.
The note from the Ministry of Transport further stated: “It is important to stress that Israeli port cities are actively protected by land and maritime, anti-rocket systems such as the highly effective iron dome system and therefore we can safely say that risk levels are kept as low as possible.”
The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration issued an advisory notice effective October 26, 2023 to April 23, 2024 because of the “increased risk to commercial vessels operating in the region”.
No further details aside from a mention of the current tensions and hostilities were given.
Security analysts have yet to revise their initial assessments on the risk of the war to commercial shipping.
An increase in the threat level is largely dependent on further escalation or a regional spillover.