THE Alliance — which consists of Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM, and Yang Ming — is suspending its Asia – Red Sea 1 (AR1) service amid the escalating tensions in the area, posing a threat to its vessels and crew.
The AR1 service connects ports in Northeast and Southeast Asia with the ports of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Aqaba in Jordan and Sokhna Port in Egypt.
In a customer advisory, ONE said THE Alliance is suspending AR1 until further notice due to developments around the Red Sea.
"We regret to inform you that, due to recent security developments around the Red Sea, the AR1 service will be temporarily suspended until further notice. This decision is a proactive measure to prioritize the safety of our crew, vessels, and your cargo," the advisory said.
"While we understand the inconvenience this may cause, the suspension is a precautionary measure due to security concerns in the region," it added.
ONE noted that THE Alliance is "closely monitoring the situation" and will resume the AR1 service as soon as it is deemed safe for vessels to operate in the area again.
The decision to redirect the service away from Port Klang, which was its last port of call in Asia, and instead sail via the Cape of Good Hope before reaching the Red Sea, significantly increases the length of the voyage. This change also means that the journey will now include a transit through the Suez Canal.
For the remaining four sailings, one will pass through the Red Sea and the other three will sail via the Cape of Good Hope. Meanwhile, three of the vessels will unload in Singapore.
The routing of the AR1 Service follows the Pusan – Shanghai – Ningbo – Shekou – Singapore - Port Klang – Jeddah – Aqaba – Sokhna – Jeddah – Singapore – Pusan port rotation.
Separately, Hapag-Lloyd said: "We are currently working on alternative routes to serve the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden ports and these will be announced shortly."
Due to the ongoing security threat posed by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea to commercial vessels, the majority of container shipping services that used to pass through the region have been rerouted to the Cape of Good Hope, resulting in longer journeys or an additional of around 10-day voyage between Asia and Europe.