Updated 19 January 2024
Geopolitical tensions in the inner Mediterranean and the Red Sea have increased since the escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict in October 2023. The situation remains volatile and transits in the Gulf of Aden and Southern Red Sea, as well as port calls in Israel, should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
There are also wider safety implications for vessels, in particular for those with links to Israel, the US and UK transiting the region as evidenced by the recent attack on a merchant vessel in the Red Sea.
Below we provide an overview of Gard’s relevant loss prevention material, as well as links to some useful external websites and guidelines, that may assist ship operators, masters, and crews to prepare and respond to the ongoing situation in the region. However, please note that the situation remains fluid and can change at any time.
Operational and security risks
Red Sea – situation update 16 January 2024
Geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea have increased since the commencement of the Israel-Gaza conflict and this is particularly relevant for assets with links to Israel, the US and UK transiting the region. The many recent incidents involving attacks on merchant vessels in the Southern Red Sea display a significant increase in the Houthis’ capability to disrupt merchant shipping.
Israel/Gaza conflict: Impact on shipping 11 December 2023
The situation in Israel and Gaza remains volatile and we recommend assessing all port calls in the country on a case-by-case basis. Appropriate measures should be incorporated into ship contingency plans.
Regional conflicts, heightened military activity, and increased political tensions continue to pose threats to commercial vessels operating in this region.
Yemen – port situation 17 January 2024
The Yemeni Red Sea Ports of Hodeida and Saleef are reported as open and operational, despite the Yemeni Houthis’ recent attacks on commercial vessel in the Southern Red Sea. However, the overall security situation in Yemen and its surrounding seas areas is fragile and we recommend evaluating all port calls on a case-by-case basis.
Israel/Gaza conflict: contractual implications 17 October 2023
The article answers some of the trade-related and contractual questions shipowners might have in this turbulent and highly volatile situation.
External sources of information
Below we have provided links to some relevant websites and guidelines that may assist ship operators, masters, and crews to stay alert and prepare and respond to the ongoing situation.
- Interim Industry Transit Advice, Southern Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden – 15 December 2023
- The shipping industry's maritime global security website
- The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC): Bridge cards
- NATO Shipping Centre: Latest news and threat assessments
- IMO: Red Sea project
- NAVAREA III warnings in force