Missile attacks on merchant ships in the southern part of the Suez Canal | D.B. Group

Missile attacks on merchant ships in the southern part of the Suez Canal

29 February 2024

Here you can find all the latest news related to attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.


Tensions in the Red Sea remain high and constant, as do attacks by the Houthis and their American and English counterparts. In recent days, the Yemeni group has disrupted internet communication activities between Europe and Asia by cutting four submarine communication cables between Saudi Arabia and Djibouti.

While maritime transport players are consolidating their new routes that involve circumnavigating Africa, none of the major carriers have actually issued recent announcements on the crisis situation, communicating, for example, further schedule changes or surcharges.

The South African route is solid, with higher costs and longer transit times already expected or at least predictable. The first ships arriving at Italian destination ports have an average delay of 16 days compared to the schedule at departure from China.

Uncertainties persist about the piracy incidents that are being recorded in the Horn of Africa area. There are numerous potential attacks following a lower concentration of "controls" in the Indian Ocean. Although these attacks are probably not connected to the Red Sea crisis, they are nevertheless becoming interconnected.

The D.B. Group team



The situation in the south of Suez is not improving, in the last few days the tension has increased on the waters of the Red Sea. The USA and UK have begun to counterattack by bombing some Houthi bases to weaken the military capabilities of the Shiitic group that, for weeks, has been threatening Western cargo and oil tankers.

A defensive action in response to increasing raids of the Yemeni group against the merchant ships on the south of the Suez Canal (today we count over 20 attacks since November). However, the counterattack raised fear of a worse attack by the Houthi, which promised a strong and effective response. 

The impact on ocean transport remains serious and the majority of shipping companies have diverted traffic around Africa sacrificing effectiveness and fast delivery, as the transit time is way longer compared to the traditional passage from Suez (over 10 days more). 

The Block Train service by D.B. Group offers a good alternative to transport by sea, above all during this challenging period between the-end-of-year holidays and the pick season that anticipates the Chinese New Year in February.

Don’t let this opportunity get away, click on the following link to learn more or contact our specialized team: Block_Train

The D.B. Group Team



The Houthi rebels' attacks in Yemen continue to target cargo ships in the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait. The ongoing attacks have led to the suspension of operations in the Red Sea by some of the major shipping companies, including Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, Evergreen, and Maersk. 

The current reality forces ship whose route would pass through the Red Sea to decide between the following possible options:

  • continue sailing along the regular trade route;
  • change the route by circumnavigating the African continent.

Most vessels are choosing the second option by navigating through the Cape of Good Hope. This leads to an increased transit time of at least 10-20 days, as well as a general trend towards greater fuel consumption due to elevated speeds of the route aimed at mitigating the extended sailing times.

The impact of this situation is already evident. Daily maritime traffic in the Red Sea has decreased by more than 50%, while delivery delays have increased significantly, especially for th Southeast Asia to Europe route. 

The sea shipping industry is observing a substantial rise in transportation costs, particularly in exports from Asia, with variations that lead to a more than doubled cost of shipping by sea. This scenario is further exacerbated by the increased difficulty in finding containers at the point of origin, given the extended turnaround times for those currently in transit, both for imports and exports, as well as the lack of guarantee on weekly departures and schedules that may be constantly modified in the departure dates.

Houthi attacks are also affecting oil supply, as BP has temporarily halted shipments in the Red Sea, contributing to rising oil and gas prices. Additionally, a short-term negative impact may arise from downstream inventory issues. Retailers have not anticipated the additional delivery time required by these shipments, and after the peak of the holiday shopping season, it is possible that stocks will run out in the coming weeks.

The situation in the Red Sea is evolving, and the consequences for global trade are still uncertain. We recommend mitigating risk by planning based on arrival deadlines and using different transportation modes: by sea with different carriers, by train, by a combination of sea and air, or by air. In general, it is advisable to always ensure your shipments.

Contact your Sales Representative to find out the services available and other shipping possibilities.

The D.B. Group Team



As a result of the attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, significant risks and potential navigation delays have occurred.

To mitigate the risks connected to the navigation, shipping companies have suspended the passage through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and are sailing around the Cape of Good Hope.

This wartime fact constitutes an event of force majeure that legitimately enables companies not only to reroute cargo already in the water but also to apply surcharge costs to shipments from/in transit/to Red Sea markets (such as Persian Gulf, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Far East), under the general transport conditions.

D.B. Group S.p.a will verify each surcharge that will be applied, with the hope that this challenging situation may be resolved as soon as possible.

We remain at your disposal for further information.

The D.B. Group Team


We inform you that several missile attacks have been reported, affecting southern Yemen and blocking the passage through the Suez Canal, a crucial link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Currently, the consequence and the duration of this situation are unknown.

Numerous shipping companies are choosing to temporarily halt ships already en route while waiting for more clarity, while more and more carriers are choosing to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, which adds at least 15 days of transit time for services from and to Asia to Northern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates on possible reroutings and transit times that may be delayed even last minute.

A valid alternative solution is represented by train from and to China, both for FCL and LCL. Do not hesitate to contact us to receive more information about this service for your shipments.

We also recommend that you always provide All Risk insurance coverage for your shipments, which D.B. Group can provide for with its trusted brokers.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

The D.B. Group Team

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