Trieste, Italy (Ports Europe) January 16, 2024 – The Maersk Hangzhou ship arrived at Pier VII, Trieste Marine Terminal this week, after being attacked in the Red Sea December 30-31, 2023.
The Maersk Hangzhou is an H-class container ship operated by Maersk Line with a capacity of 15,200 TEU. The vessel was hit by a missile but has no outward sign of damage. The U.S. Navy prevented a boarding attempt by Houthi rebels.
It is the first time a vessel of this size has been received by the terminal for two weeks. This shows the real effects of the Red Sea crisis. The issue is of concern to many Italian and other Mediterranean ports that rely on cargo delivered by ships travelling to Europe via the Suez Canal. This is especially the case with transshipment.
Many companies have suspended the use of the Suez Canal and have opted to send ships to Europe via the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. This adds to the journey time, causes delays and pushes up costs. International Monetary Fund figures show 35% less cargo was transited through the Suez Canal in the first week of 2024 compared with the same period last year.
Egypt loses valuable foreign currency in transit fees. It earned $9.4 billion in transit fees in the fiscal year 2022/23.
European ports lose business and if the attacks continue, jobs will be at risk. Ships not using the Suez Canal will enter the Mediterranean via the Strait of Gibraltar. From here, they are likely to stop at the nearest port which can handle their cargo. Ports in the Eastern Mediterranean could lose out.
The Maersk Hangzhou has since arrived at the Port of Rijeka, indicative a possible growing problem.
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