China's COSCO Shipping Suspends Bookings To and From Israeli Ports
Chinese shipping major COSCO has announced suspension of cargo bookings to Israel. Escalating Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are said to the the reason although Chinese ships are less likely to be targets of attacks.
This move follows the January 6 decision of COSCO subsidiary Orient Overseas Container Line to indefinitely suspend shipping to and from Israeli ports.
China is among Israel’s top trading partners and has extensively invested in Israeli maritime infrastructure, including Israel’s largest international port, located in Haifa.
The attacks have added to existing shipping costs for fuel and insurance policies.
Houthi attacks have forced Israel's ZIM shipping fleet to take 56% longer and more expensive routes around Africa to avoid the Red Sea.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has dispatched 10 ships to patrol the Arabian Sea region.