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World's two most important shipping canals now facing serious delays


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Washington Examiner

The world's two largest shipping canals are facing delays and problems, threatening to snarl commodities shipping and push prices higher.

Ships crossing through the Panama Canal have faced delays this year because of drought that has sent the canal's water levels to record lows.


Now the world's other most significant canal for international trade, the Suez Canal, is becoming difficult to access. Major shipping companies have said in recent days that they will reroute from the Suez Canal to travel around Africa instead to avoid passing through the Bab el Mandeb Strait because of missiles fired at ships by Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen.

BP and Norway's Equinor became the latest companies to pause or reroute operations in the Red Sea on Monday, with BP citing the “deteriorating security situation” and attacks on commercial vessels headed toward the Suez Canal.


"The safety and security of our people and those working on our behalf is BP's priority," the company said.

That announcement comes after similar announcements from shipping giants MSC, CMA, Hapag-Lloyd, and Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, which took steps either to pause or reroute their shipments away from the Suez Canal, which links Europe to Asia and is a key port for grain and commodities shipments.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a visit to Israel on Monday that the attacks are "reckless, dangerous," and in violation of international law.:snip:

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