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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why are some shipowners prepared to run the Red Sea gauntlet?

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List Podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

The wait-and-see period for shipping is well and truly over — ships of all types are now rerouting away from the Red Sea as air strikes against the Houthis failed to stem attacks and insurance rates spiked in response. But not everyone is leaving and shipping’s risk appetite is increasingly a question of national association as much as it is an individual security assessment

The industry is now divided between those who have called the Middle East security risk as a mid-term diversion to be managed, and those who are prepared to run the gauntlet of near daily attacks on the basis that the Houthis will only target ships with an Israel, US or UK nexus.

While containerships have been diverting away from the Suez Canal since mid-December, tankers and bulkers finally started making the call to follow them last week as US and UK air strikes against the Houthis failed to stem attacks and insurance rates spiked in response.

We’re already seeing the impact of that as product tanker rates rallied and the fallout will continue to be felt this week as we see who is and is not prepared to sail past Yemen.

A total of 43 tankers have diverted from the Red Sea since the US-led air strikes began on January 12 — the wait-and-see period for shipping is well and truly over.

This week on the podcast We are going to be talking about:

  • The differing approaches to this risk and why an increasing amount of China-linked vessels are venturing where their Western counterparts are not.

  • We discuss the evolving nature of the security threat in the Red Sea and, a month into the coalition naval operation to protect shipping, where the industry stands given the apparent failure of air strikes to stem the Houthi threat.

  • We reveal the vessel-tracking analysis the reveals just how much traffic is diverting and what impact that is having.

  • And we explain why understanding the incentives to reroute is key to understanding why we have not seen a more universal rerouting around the Cape of Good Hope.


Speaking on this week’s edition of the podcast:

  • Michelle Wiese Bockmann, Lloyd’s List Intelligence principal analyst

  • Bridget Diakun, Lloyd’s List data analyst

  • Cichen Shen, Lloyd’s List APAC editor

  • Nigel Lowry, Lloyd’s List Greece correspondent

  • Martin Kelly, head of advisory, EOS Risk Group






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