The Panama Canal Authority stated on Thursday that there has not been a noticeable surge in shipping traffic attributed to the Red Sea situation, where attacks by Yemen’s Houthi movement are prompting vessels to alter their routes.
The attacks have impacted navigation in the Suez Canal, a vital route accounting for 12% of global trade volume. Consequently, some shipowners may consider diverting to the Panama Canal, which has been under transit restrictions for several months due to a severe drought, reports Al-Anba daily.
In a written statement to Reuters, the authority clarified, “Until this moment, we have not witnessed a noticeable increase in the number of ships directly related to the current situation in the Red Sea.” Earlier this month, the canal reversed its plan to reduce the daily transit allowance from 20 to 24 ships.
The Houthi attacks in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, situated in the southern Red Sea, have been ongoing for weeks. The Houthis, aligned with Iran and controlling most of Yemen, claim these actions are a response to Israel’s actions in Gaza.
In response to escalating maritime shipping prices and increased volatility in shipping company stocks, Hapag-Lloyd announced its intention to alter the course of 25 ships by year-end, avoiding the Suez Canal amid the prevailing state of uncertainty.