Despite the initiation of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a US-led taskforce aimed at safeguarding the critical trade route, Hapag-Lloyd AG remains committed to rerouting its vessels via the Cape of Good Hope, involving a considerable detour spanning several thousand miles.

The move comes in the wake of a series of attacks on merchant ships, attributed to Yemeni rebels supporting the Palestinians. This strategic route handles approximately 12% of global trade, and the attacks have affected a range of vessels, from oil tankers to container ships.

The resulting avoidance of the route by shipowners is causing delays and additional costs, with potential repercussions for consumers. Notably, the recent targeting of the MSC United VIII underscores the ongoing security challenges.

Operation Prosperity Guardian, initiated by the US to address threats to global trade arising from the Israel-Hamas conflict, began last week. Yemen-based militants, initially targeting ships with Israeli links, have prompted caution among US officials and regional allies to prevent further escalation. Despite concerns, some companies find reassurance in the taskforce.

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world's second-largest container line, is preparing to resume shipping through the Red Sea. Similarly, CMA CGM announced plans to gradually increase ship traffic through the Suez Canal.

The attacks have led to an increase in oil prices, but the market has yet to fully factor in potential major disruptions.

Concerns about drone attacks have prompted vessels to consider transiting the Red Sea at night, as operational guidance from the start of Operation Prosperity Guardian notes that drones are typically active during daylight hours. Nighttime transit could potentially mitigate the risk of seaborne attacks on vessels.