Maersk Container Ships Depart With Supplies For US Military And Government Via Red Sea

Maersk has reportedly sent out two container vessels loaded with goods via the Red Sea for the U.S. military and the government, per the Danish firm and ship tracking data. Maersk, as well as some other large shipping lines, have reportedly instructed hundreds of commercial vessels to steer clear of the Bab al-Mandab Strait close to Yemen, sending ships via the longer and more expensive route through Africa in response to the ongoing attacks on shipping by the Iranian-backed Houthi force.

The two U.S.-flagged vessels, Maersk Kensington and Maersk Sentosa, sailed from Salalah based in Oman via the Bab al-Mandab Strait and were headed to the north via the Red Sea, per LSEG ship-tracking information. Both these vessels sailed the strait with the AIS tracking system switched off to avoid being detected. The Maersk Kensington reappeared at about 0818 GMT on Tuesday, while Maersk Sentosa was known to have switched on its AIS at 2211 GMT on Monday, per the data.

Containership
Representation Image

Maersk Sentosa and Kensington boast capacities of 6,500 and 6,200 20-foot containers, respectively, and both belong to the Maersk Line Limited, which is a U.S. subsidiary of the Danish firm. Maersk said that the unit features a fleet of 20 relatively smaller container vessels; the unit is known to be shipping items for U.S. agencies, including the State Department, Department of Defense, and USAID.

The Maersk Line Limited vessels making the crossing are doing so near the U.S. Navy assets, which have lowered the risks to the crew members and cargo, Maersk stated via an email to Reuters.

A U.S.-headed coalition was established over the past month to secure and safeguard commercial traffic in the waters of the Red Sea. The U.S., along with Britain, initiated dozens of air strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen on Jan. 11 and 12 in retaliation for the attacks on shipping by the Houthis.

Reference: Hellenic Shipping News

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