Cargo Ships Stranded off Yemen for Days

At least five merchant vessels loaded with food were anchored off Yemen unable to enter the country’s waters before being cleared by Saudi-led search teams, Reuters cited shipping data on Wednesday.

The security situation in Yemen has deteriorated further with increasingly widespread armed conflicts.

Navigation in Yemen’s territorial waters was banned by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 12th. Under the ban, ships are not allowed into Yemen unless inspected and approved by the Saudi-led coalition forces.

Only emergency food and medical aid vessels are allowed entry and even then only after being searched.

The intention behind the decision is to stop shipments that could assist the Houthi led forces in their conflict with the government forces.

“It is more difficult now to find ship owners willing to provide vessels and you face your shipment being held up for an unknown amount of time by warships before even bringing it into Yemen,” Reuters cited an international food trader as saying.

Ship owner agent told Reuters that delays of up to a week are expected before vessels can be allowed to berth at Saleef port for unloading.

Numerous advisories have been issued to vessel owners, including the one from BIMCO, advising all vessels to transit the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea outside Yemeni territorial waters (12 Nautical Miles) where possible.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore also advised owners and operators of Singapore-flagged ships to avoid having their vessels call at ports in Yemen due to security concerns.

Owners and operators of Singapore-flagged ships are advised to carry out the review in consultation with contractual counterparties as well as Hull, War and P&I insurers and other relevant parties,” the authority said.

World Maritime News Staff