Norway´s Wallenius Wilhelmsen, a leading company in roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping and vehicle logistics, is rerouting all of its vessels planned for Red Sea transit via the Cape of Good Hope, due to the deteriorating security situation in the region.

“The safety of our people is our number one priority. As a result of the current 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. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and stay in direct consultation with authorities, industry bodies and all relevant counterparts,” said Lasse Kristoffersen, president and chief executive.

Several vessels due to transit the Red Sea have been successfully diverted, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen have no vessels in or on the way to the area.

The company, as it is reported, is in close dialogue with affected customers and stakeholders on changes to schedules.

The rerouting is expected to add between one to two weeks to voyage durations, as Wallenius Wilhelmsen claims.

An escalation in Houthi attacks on merchant ships has raised concerns for the safety of global trade, with the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden becoming increasingly volatile.

Furthermore, after the recent Houthi attacks on merchant ships en route in the Red Sea, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) urged governments last Friday to send more war vessels in the afflicted area.

The call comes amid increasing talk that the US and its allies might step up their naval presence in the region to protect the key route.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday announced the creation of a multinational operation to safeguard commerce in the Red Sea following a series of missile and drone attacks by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis.

The new multinational security initiative, Operation Prosperity Guardian, will work under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153, which focuses on security in the Red Sea.