Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Les attacks in the Red Sea will affect Canada

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Significant delays are expected as shipping giants change their routes to avoid the Suez Canal. (File photo)

Radio-Canada

Canadian businesses and consumers could soon feel the repercussions of attacks on ships plying the Red Sea.

International shipping carriers decided to avoid this important trade corridor after Houthi militants in Yemen intensified attacks on commercial vessels to denounce the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Shipping giant Maersk announced Friday that it will avoid the Suez Canal and the Red Sea by passing through the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.< /p>

This route change adds 10 days of travel and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and labor expenses, which could result in increased wholesale and retail product prices .

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Maersk is one of the world's largest shipping companies. (File photo)

Yan Cimon, professor of commerce at Laval University, says Europe will feel the most direct effects. He specifies that certain manufacturing parts and consumer goods destined for Canada also transit through the Suez Canal, which handles about a third of global container traffic.

Data from Drewry, a shipping industry research firm, shows that global container shipping rates jumped 61% in the past week. There is also more traffic on maritime routes between Asia and North America.

Tensions in the Middle East have also spread to the Arabian Sea. The Indian Navy announced Friday that it had rescued 21 crew members from a ship after a distress call for hijacking and intrusion by five or six armed strangers.

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This intervention comes after the announcement by the India, in December, deployed forces in the Arabian Sea to protect commercial ships, which have been increasingly attacked since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Since the start of this conflict, the Houthis have increased attacks in the Red Sea against ships they consider linked to Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians bombed and besieged by Israel.

Shortly before the new year, the US military claimed to have sunk three ships of Yemen's Houthi rebels after attacks in the Red Sea against a container ship of the Danish carrier Maersk, which then suspended the transit of its ships in this area for two days.

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The Houthis used several military tactics to attack vessels in the Red Sea, including a helicopter attack in November 2023. (File photo)

The United States announced the training on December 18 of a coalition to defend maritime traffic in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, joined by around twenty countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Italy, Greece, Norway, the Netherlands and Bahrain.

With information from The Canadian Press and the Agence France-Presse

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