Star Bulk To Avoid Red Sea Transits After Houthi Attacks On Its Vessels

Star Bulk Carriers, a Greek shipping company, announced that it will avoid the Red Sea and Suez Canal routes after two of its vessels were attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The action is part of the company’s strategy to protect its fleet as regional tensions increase.

During an earnings call, Petros Pappas, CEO of Star Bulk, reaffirmed his decision on February 13, 2024. Pappas highlighted the corporation’s exposure to Houthi attacks due to its status as a publicly traded company with US registration. The company reevaluated its navigation routes in response to the recent attacks on two vessels, the Star Iris and Star Nasia.

On February 12, 2024, the Houthis launched two missiles against the MV Star Iris, which was travelling through the Red Sea while transporting corn from Brazil. The vessel reported minor damages with no injuries to the crew. In another incident, Iran-backed Houthis fired Anti-ship Ballistic missiles towards MV Star Nasia, transiting the Gulf of Aden on February 6, 2024. The vessel reported an explosion resulting in minor damages, but no injuries were reported.

Bulk Carrier
Representation Image

Shipping businesses operating in the region are concerned about the attacks, which have been carried out using drones and missiles. The Houthis attacked Star Bulk’s vessels, loaded with cargo destined for several places. Further issues resulted from the inability to immediately reroute the ships due to contractual obligations, despite efforts to steer them away from the potentially dangerous zone.

These attacks have consequences beyond the organisation’s operational logistics and impact insurance costs and fleet management. Pappas highlighted the difficulties caused by Red Sea disruptions, worsened by problems like port traffic jams and navigational challenges.

The European Union has also taken note of the increasing tensions and launched a protection operation to secure the region’s marine routes. The mission, called EUNAVFOR Aspides, will be responsible for security measures in vital waterways, such as the Gulf of Oman and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. The mission, led by Commodore Vasileios Gryparis, stresses maintaining navigational freedom while engaging in diplomatic conversation with regional parties.

The attempts to protect maritime trade routes are stepping up with the start of the EU mission and several member states’ deployment of naval forces to the region. However, the precise timescale for operational effectiveness remains unknown.
Star Bulk Carriers’ decision to avoid Red Sea transits highlights the problematic obstacles that international shipping firms that operate in conflict areas must overcome as they traverse the turbulent waters of geopolitical tensions. Strategic moves like route diversions are becoming more frequent in the face of changing threats as safety and security take priority.

Reference: English.Alarabiya

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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