Shipping Company to Resume Red Sea Routes as Operation Prosperity Guardian Takes Effect
Days after the United States claimed it was coming together with multiple countries to form a coalition to protect ships against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the massive Danish shipping company Maersk announced on Sunday that it intended to start operating again via the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
The Suez Canal, which is frequently used by ships from all over the world, was rendered unsuitable for most routes, and Maersk had to halt operations through the Bab el-Mandeb strait earlier in December due to attacks against its ships.
Because many businesses decided to reroute ships around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, the world’s trade was certain to suffer greatly in its absence.
The United States and other countries will cooperate with the United States in what is known as “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” according to spokesman for the National Security Council John Kirby, on December 19. The coalition will conduct surveillance and take defensive action against Houthi rebels who target commercial ships in the Red Sea.
In addition, Kirby stated that the United States and 44 other signatories, including the whole European Union, NATO, and the G7, denounced the Houthi threats and actions “in the strongest terms”.
Resuming sailings through the Suez Canal, Maersk announced on Sunday that it had confirmation that Operation Prosperity Guardian was in place.
“As of Sunday 24 December 2023, we have received confirmation that the previously announced multi-national security initiative Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) had been set up and deployed to allow maritime commerce to pass through the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden and once again return to using the Suez Canal as a gateway between Asia and Europe,” according to a statement obtained by Reuters. “With the OPG initiative in operation, we are preparing to allow for vessels to resume transit through the Red Sea both eastbound and westbound.”
More information was anticipated to be made public in the next few days, Maersk stated, adding that it would very likely resort to deploying ships on alternate routes should circumstances worsen.
Maersk was contacted for comment by Fox News Digital, but they did not respond right away. Maersk said last Tuesday that it will be rerouting ships to avoid the Cape of Good Hope.
Due to the longer travel distance, shipments from Asia would now be subject to fees to pay additional costs. Safety concerns also led oil company BP to discontinue crossing the Red Sea.