With 80% of the global goods trade transported by sea, the global economy relies heavily on the shipping industry — forming the backbone of international trade.
A seamless and efficient supply chain is vital for moving goods across continents. Among the key players in this industry are the world’s biggest shipping companies, operating colossal vessels that traverse oceans, linking manufacturers and consumers worldwide.
These companies are known for their large number of TEUs, strong alliances, and the number of trips they make yearly.
Red Sea attacks
Due to the attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels on container ships in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, the decision of the majority of the world's largest container shipping lines to suspend shipping across the straight has the potential to seriously disrupt cargo traffic at one of the world's major maritime chokepoints that sees between 22-30% of worldwide maritime-traded goods pass through it.
According to S&P Global, tonnage transiting the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea has halved since the beginning of December. The passage is also vital for oil shipments, affecting global oil prices.
Vessels now rerouted circumvent the Suez Canal by navigating around the Cape of Good Hope on the Southern tip of Africa for ships travelling between Asia and Europe, which involves a 5,500-mile diversion which takes seven to ten days longer and a much higher fuel bill.