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Red Sea Ship Attacks Plague Ocean Freight Rates Red Sea ship attacks send ocean freight rates soaring

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Transportation of ZIM sea containers

Volodimyr Trofimov/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Ocean freight rates are surging following Houthi rebels’ assault on a Maersk ship over the weekend, prompting carriers to halt plans to resume voyages through the Red Sea en route to the Suez Canal, according to a Wednesday report by Reuters.

The attacks have compelled ships to alter their course around the southern tip of Africa, leading to increased costs for vessels embarking on the extended journey, although rates still remain significantly lower than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Red Sea trade route facilitates up to a third of global container ship cargo, and diverting ships around the Cape of Good Hope to evade attacks is projected to result in an additional $1 million expenditure in fuel for each round trip between Asia and Northern Europe.

Countless container ships and other vessels have undergone rerouting, tacking on an extra 7 to 20 days to their travels.

Prices for shipments from Asia to North America’s East Coast surged by 55% to $3,900 per 40-ft. container, with West Coast costs skyrocketing by 63% to over $2,700 amid anticipated cargo diversions to sidestep Red Sea-related complications, as per Freightos, an international freight booking and payments platform cited by Reuters.

Potentially pertinent stocks include ZIM Integrated Shipping (NYSE:ZIM), which ended Wednesday +9.5% at its highest close since August, as well as Danaos (DAC), Global Ship Lease (GSL), Matson (MATX), Navios Maritime Partners (NMM), Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE), International Seaways (INSW), Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK), Diana Shipping (DSX), Genco Shipping (GNK), Ardmore Shipping (ASC), Safe Bulkers (SB), and Grindrod Shipping (GRIN).

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