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Red Sea tension pushed up container prices 120% over last 6 months

July 6, 2024 at 9:29 am

This handout photo provided by Yemeni Al-Joumhouria TV, shows the British-registered cargo ship ‘Rubymar’ sinking, after it was targeted by Yemen’s Houthi forces in international waters in the Red Sea, on March 3, 2024 [Al-Joumhouriah channel via Getty Images]

Container traffic in the Red Sea almost came to stop as ships shifted their routes to the Cape of Good Hope due to attacks on Israeli ships by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, said new figures announced on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

The 40-feet (12.1-meter) container composite index rose to $5,868 by July 4, an increase of 120% in six months, according to research firm Drewry.

The world container index (WCI) gained 10% for the week ending July 4.

Furthermore, the WCI shot up 298% compared to the same week last year, a much more dramatic change.

As a result of ships shifting their routes to the Cape of Good Hope around South Africa, they extended their cruising times by 10-14 days, while total commercial ship transits through the Cape of Good Hope leaped 125%.

In addition, the WCI for 40-feet containers on the Shanghai-New York route rose 137% to $9,158 in the last six months, while it jumped 174% to $7,472 on the Shanghai-Los Angeles route.

READ: FACTBOX – Shipping firms respond to Houthi attacks in Red Sea