Moller-Maersk has paused all transits through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and is conducting an ongoing investigation into the attack on its vessel, Maersk Hangzhou, which occurred on 30 December.

Moller-Maersk maintains that it remains committed to minimising the impact on its customers’ supply chains and will continue to keep them updated on the situation in the Red Sea.

It added that in cases where it makes most sense for customers, vessels will be rerouted and continue their journey around the Cape of Good Hope. 

According to US business magazine, Forbes, the incident unfolded as the Maersk Hangzhou, en route from Singapore to Port Suez in Egypt, was struck by an unidentified object in the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Subsequently, four boats approached the vessel and opened fire. The vessel’s security team successfully prevented the attackers from boarding.

Helicopters from US Navy vessels in the Red Sea reportedly engaged the four Houthi-controlled boats, sinking three of them and killing the crew members involved.

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The crew of the Maersk Hangzhou is said to be safe and the freight company reported all necessary security measures had been implemented to protect them along with receiving all the support the crew needs.

Maersk has opted to halt all cargo movements while it “further assesses the constantly evolving situation.”

According to the Wall Street Journal German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd is avoiding the Suez Canal and the Red Sea and it has rerouted its ships around the Cape of Good Hope until 9 January.

Last October (2023) Spanish fashion conglomerate Inditex teamed up with Maersk to reduce its global greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint from sea logistics.