Maersk Resumes Red Sea Passage 'Operation Prosperity Guardian' Deployment


Maersk, a leading global shipping company, is gearing up to recommence the transit of its vessels through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. This decision comes in the wake of the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG), a multinational security initiative designed to facilitate the safe passage of maritime vessels through the crucial Red Sea/Gulf of Aden route, connecting Asia to Europe and the United States. OPG is a military operation led by the United States, involving a predominantly Western multinational coalition formed recently in response to attacks on shipping in the Red Sea led by the Houthi group.

According to a trade advisory from Maersk, the company has received confirmation that the previously disclosed multinational security initiative, OPG, has been established and put into operation. This initiative is designed to facilitate the transit of maritime commerce through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden, enabling a return to the use of the Suez Canal as a crucial gateway connecting Asia and Europe.

This is welcome news for global trade, the line said. With the OPG initiative in operation, Maersk said it is preparing to allow vessels to resume transit through the Red Sea both eastbound and westbound. “We are currently working on plans for the first vessels to make the transit and for this to happen as soon as operationally possible. While doing so, ensuring the safety of our employees is of the utmost importance and our number one priority in handling the challenging situation in the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden area", the advisory said.

“Although security measures are in place to enable the transit of the Red Sea / Gulf of Aden for our vessels, the overall risk in the area is not eliminated at this stage. Maersk will not hesitate to re-evaluate the situation and once again initiate diversion plans if we deem it necessary for the safety of our seafarers", the advisory said.

Due to the recent security concerns in the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden, Maersk and other shipping carriers have temporarily halted, reconfigured, and rerouted their services away from the region to prioritize safety. Ships were redirected via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. As a result, the transit time for vessels nearly doubled, leading to a subsequent rise in freight costs. “Our utmost priority has been and always will be the safety of our seafarers as well as your cargo on our vessels, and all contingency measures have been introduced with these in mind", Maersk said.

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