COSCO, the Chinese state-owned shipping giant, has halted its operations in Israel. This news broke earlier today and has been reported by various Israeli and international media outlets.
While the official reason hasn’t been disclosed by COSCO, the decision is likely connected to the recent disruptions in Red Sea shipping routes caused by attacks from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Though the threat of direct attacks on COSCO vessels is considered low, the company’s decision appears to be driven by its desire to avoid any potential risks and maintain good relations with Iran.
The suspension of COSCO’s operations is expected to have a significant impact on Israeli importers and exporters who rely on the company’s services. It could lead to higher shipping costs and delays in the delivery of goods. As the fourth largest container shipping line in the world, COSCO plays a major role in global trade, and its withdrawal from Israel will undoubtedly add to the challenges faced by businesses in the country.
Here are some additional details you might find helpful:
Other shipping companies: Some other shipping companies, like OOCL and ONE, have also made similar decisions to avoid the Red Sea and bypass Israel. However, there are still other companies operating in the region, and alternative routes may be available for some cargoes.
Possible impact: The full extent of the impact on Israeli businesses is still being assessed. The government may take steps to mitigate the disruptions, such as by providing subsidies or supporting alternative shipping routes.
Future developments: It remains unclear how long COSCO’s suspension will last. The company’s decision could be reversed if the security situation in the Red Sea improves.