Container giant MSC, which is ranked with Maersk as one of the two biggest shipping companies in the world, informed its customers today that it is hiking shipping rates to Israel from $3,500 per 20 cubic feet and $6,000 per 40 cubic feet to $5,000 and $7,000 respectively.
MSC wrote to customers, "In recent weeks, the Suez Canal has become dangerous to pass through because the Red Sea is not safe. These incidents of ships being attacked have forced us to take a drastic step and reroute ships via the Cape of Good Hope. As a result of this all schedules have been disrupted." Following the lengthening in journey times, new schedules will include many less lines.
MSC's steps follow "Globes" revealing yesterday that Chinese shipping giant COSCO has halted calling in at Israeli ports altogether. COSCO is the world's fourth biggest container shipping company with 11% of global trade. The Chinese shipping company has taken this decision even though it is less threatened than other companies in the Red Sea because of the Chinese government's connections with Iran - the patron of the Houthi rebels who are attacking ships in the Red Sea.
"Globes" has learned that already three weeks ago Beijing began behaving problematically towards Israel. From a document obtained by Globes, it appears that on December 17 an update was received in Israel that "In view of the war, Chinese customs is seeking to delay the export to Israel of customs items classified in chapters 84 and 85, so that they will not be used by the IDF in the war effort." Chapter 84 deals with nuclear reactors, boilers, machines and mechanical devices of all kinds. Chapter 85 deals with electrical machines and equipment and parts for them, recorders, image and sound TV recorders and production equipment, and parts and accessories for these items.
Meanwhile Israeli company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM), which operates lines in cooperation with COSCO, announced today that it will independently operate the lines to the south of France as well as Genoa and Salerno in Italy starting January 19. ZIM noted that schedules will be published in the coming days, when the number of available ships will have fallen further and prices will have likely risen. ZIM's announcement came even though COSCO has not confirmed yesterday's report in "Globes," or officially announced that it is halting sailing to Israeli ports.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 8, 2024.
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