WALLENIUS Wilhelmsen has joined the growing list of shipping firms diverting vessels from the Red Sea.

On 9 January the ro-ro carrier announced its ships would instead sail around the Cape of Good Hope, avoiding the Red Sea situation but adding up to two weeks of additional sailing time.

Several shipping lines have decided to suspend voyages or sail around the southern tip of Africa as the Houthis continue to attack ships transiting the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and surrounding waters.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen said it was prioritising the safety of its people.

“As a result of the ongoing security situation in the southern parts of the Red Sea, Wallenius Wilhelmsen has until further notice decided to reroute all vessels to avoid the area,” it said.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in direct consultation with authorities, industry bodies and all relevant counterparts.

“We’ve taken the decision to reroute all vessels planned for Red Sea transit to the Cape of Good Hope.

“The deviated routes will add an estimated 10-14 days in extra sailing time.”

Wallenius Wilhelmsen said its team would evaluate operational, legal and commercial implications over the next couple of months.

And attacks in the Red Sea are ongoing; the United States military told Reuters that US and UK forces on Tuesday shot down 21 drones and missiles the Houthis had fired toward international shipping lanes.

U.S. Central Command said there were no injuries or damage reported, adding that this was the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since 19 November.