A German shipping group says it has established land corridors across Saudi Arabia in a bid to bypass the threat of Houthi rebel attacks on vessels using the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
Hapag-Lloyd said it will continue to route its ships around the Cape of Good Hope until further notice due to the drone and missile attacks, it said on Monday, but it also announced it was introducing land routes through Saudi Arabia to mitigate the impact on its business.
“We continue to monitor and review the situation constantly. As soon as the situation changes, and it is safe again, we will route our vessels through Red Sea and Suez Canal,” it said.
In an earlier statement to clients on its website, the company said it would offer land connections from Jebel Ali, Dammam and Jubail to its ocean shuttle service out of Jeddah.
“Our aim is to provide [customers] with a convenient contingency solution to overcome this unexpected closure until the situation in the Red Sea has been normalized,” it said.
The company considers at regular intervals whether normal shipping through the Suez Canal can be restored.
Hapag-Lloyd regularly offers logistics services whereby goods are brought further inland from ports by road or rail.
The shipping company says it has 55 ports and 53 inland terminals in the Middle East region.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara