Strait of Hormuz – The New Target For Ship Attacks

The Iranian military vessel seized an Israeli linked MSC containership in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, which has sparked fears that the whole Middle East region could become too dangerous for shipping should the situation escalate.

The 15,000 TEU ‘MSC Aries’ was boarded by Iranian troops via helicopter, which became the first direct action by the country during the conflict. Earlier attacks on shipping were carried out by Iranian linked rebels, such as the Houthi’s, rather than the country’s military itself. These previous attacks had been mainly limited to the areas close to Yemen in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

However, the Strait of Hormuz, a 50-100km wide stretch between the UAE and Iran, has now witnessed its first attack of the conflict. The Strait links the Persian Gulf to the Gulf Of Oman and provides the only means of access for global shipping in and out of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE.

Somali Pirates have also been stepping up their attempts to hijack commercial shipping for ransom. There have been more than a dozen reported incidents since November and the country borders both the Gulf Of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

The Global Freight team are monitoring these worrying developments closely.