Over a dozen shipping associations, including the International Chamber of Shipping and the World Shipping Council, issued a statement on Wednesday highlighting the growing human toll and disruption to global trade. Since late last year, container ships have avoided the Red Sea due to these attacks, instead taking the longer route around Africa, which has increased shipping costs and caused port congestion in Asia and Europe.

“It is deplorable that innocent seafarers are being attacked while simply performing their jobs, vital jobs which keep the world warm, fed, and clothed,” the shipping associations said.

They called for influential states to protect seafarers and push for a swift de-escalation in the Red Sea.

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The UK Maritime Trade Operations confirmed that a Greek-owned coal carrier, the MV Tutor, was the latest vessel sunk by the Houthis, likely resulting in another seafarer death. The MV Tutor is the second ship to be sunk by the Houthis, following the British-registered Rubymar in March.

Houthi rebels, aligned with Iran and based in Yemen, began attacking vessels in the Red Sea in November, claiming it was retaliation against Israel’s actions in Gaza. These attacks have led to significant disruptions in the Red Sea, a key route connected to the Suez Canal, which handles 10-15% of global trade.

Major shipping companies like Maersk and Hapag Lloyd have rerouted their ships around Africa, causing a spike in freight rates. According to Drewry, the cost of shipping a typical 40-foot container on major routes has surged by 233% from a year ago.

Carriers have also imposed emergency surcharges. Maersk recently increased these charges, citing ongoing challenges and additional costs due to the Red Sea situation.

Logistics firm Freightos reported that these diversions are causing congestion at ports in Singapore, Malaysia, Shanghai, and Barcelona, resulting in delays and canceled sailings. Judah Levine, Freightos’s head of research, noted that the ongoing Red Sea attacks are likely to keep affecting global supply chains and shipping costs for some time.

The shipping industry is urging for immediate action to ensure the safety of seafarers and stabilize global trade routes.