Container shipping companies’ stocks soar amid Houthi strikes off Red Sea

The stock prices of some container shipping companies have rallied by double digits as Yemen’s Houthi attacks on Israel-bound vessels in the Red Sea sparked concerns that the vital waterway to global trade is becoming inaccessible.

Yemen’s Houthis have continued to impact vital trade routes in the Red Sea, forcing shipping companies to re-route.

The attacks have affected a route vital to East-West trade, especially of oil, as ships access the Suez Canal via the Red Sea, according to Reuters. In response, some shipping companies have instructed vessels to instead sail around southern Africa, a slower and therefore more expensive route.

Israeli container shipping company Zim’s share price was up 13.37 percent on Tuesday, while Maersk, the Danish shipping giant operating more than 700 vessels, was up 6.38 percent.

Container shipping companies rallied despite the general stock market slumping, with the S&P 500 down .57 percent.

The Red Sea sits between the Bab al-Mandab Strait in the south and the Suez Canal in the north. It accounts for 12 percent of global trade, including 30 percent of all container ship traffic.

Vessels that avoid the waterway and ply trade between the east and west have to take the more circuitous route around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.

On Sunday, the US directly engaged with the Houthis for the first time in the Red Sea, killing 10 Houthi fighters as they attacked a Maersk vessel.

In another escalation, Iran announced Monday it dispatched a naval frigate to the Red Sea.

The geopolitical chaos is proving to be a windfall for container ship companies, which can charge higher freight rates because they have to take longer journeys around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.

Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements carried out a surprise retaliatory attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying entity.

The relentless Israeli military campaign against Gaza has killed nearly 22,000 people, most of them women and children. Another 57,000 individuals have been wounded.

Yemeni forces have also launched missile and drone attacks on targets in the Israeli-occupied territories after the regime’s aggression on Gaza.

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