Repeated attacks by the Houthis in Yemen on container ships in the Red Sea have caused sea freight rates to skyrocket. A third of the world’s container cargo is shipped via route Egypt’s Suez Canal connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and is the fastest route to transport fuel, food and consumer goods from Asia and the Middle East to Europe.

Until early January, more than 180 ships had already been rerouted around the South African Cape of Good Hope to avoid the attacks. This increased travel times by seven to 20 days. Although rates have soared, they are still well below the pandemic-related record of $14,000 per container for shipments from Asia to northern Europe and the Mediterranean.