Shipping industry calls for urgent action to end Red Sea attacks

Eight months of attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on commercial vessels have pushed up insurance rates

Container ships berthing in Singapore, where disrupted schedules caused by the rerouting of ships away from the Red Sea are stretching capacity of ports. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cargo shippers, cruise boat owners and insurers are calling for urgent action to put an end to eight months of attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

“We call for states with influence in the region to safeguard our innocent seafarers and for the swift de-escalation of the situation in the Red Sea,” 14 of the world’s biggest shipping companies said in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.

The signatories are: Asian Association of Shipowners, Bimco, CLIA, ECSA, Intermanager, Intercargo, IAPH, ICS, IFMSA, IMEC, International Maritime Pilots Association, IPTA, FONBASA, and World Shipping Council.

Insurance industry sources said that additional war risk premiums, paid when vessels sail through the Red Sea, had hovered close to 0.7% of the value of a ship in recent days after rising to as much as 1% earlier this year, Reuters reports.

They say more attacks are likely to push insurance rates higher, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra costs to every voyage.