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By the numbers: How conflict in the Red Sea disrupts global trade

BY: PAROMA SONI, GIOVANNA COI | 03/04/2024 10:43 AM EST

The Red Sea has turned from one of the world’s most important trade routes into a danger zone.

Tensions in the region have been escalating since November, when Yemen-based Houthis started launching drone and missile attacks against ships transiting the Red Sea. The Shiite military group’s attacks, meant to pressure Israel to stop its bombardment of Gaza, are leading to sustained delays and disruption in trade, along with surging shipping costs.

An increasing number of companies that transport vital raw materials and fuels have suspended operations in the area. They are rerouting their ships an additional 3,500 nautical miles around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa — the route the Suez Canal was built to circumvent in 1869.

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