Date: Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
Source: TaiPei Times
Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) has declared force majeure on a shipment to the Israeli port of Ashdod, with its Ever Cozy vessel diverted to Haifa due to safety concerns, a customer note said.
This is one of the first force majeures declared since Hamas launched attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 and amid preparations by Israel’s military to launch ground operations into Gaza in retaliation.
The Ever Cozy on Tuesday was sailing toward Haifa, data from ship tracking and maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic showed.
While the smaller Ashkelon port, which is the closest terminal to Gaza, has shut, Ashdod has remained opened with restrictions on the transport of hazardous goods, including flammable and explosive materials.
In a note to customers dated Monday, Evergreen said that it was informed about the “persisting unsafe situation” at Ashdod port since Oct. 7.
“As the situation is beyond Evergreen Line’s control, we are formally declaring force majeure,” the advisory said. “All cargoes which were originally destined for Ashdod, Israel, will be discharged at Port of Haifa, Israel. Thereafter, the subject contract of carriage is treated as terminated and all carrier’s responsibilities shall cease.”
In the latest update, Ashdod port said on its Web site that employees continued to work “at a time when the port is operating with constant siren alerts for incoming missiles.”
On Tuesday, three ships, including an oil tanker, remained at anchor waiting to enter Ashdod, while 16 ships were anchored near Haifa, the MarineTraffic data showed.
Ashdod and Haifa are vital goods gateways for Israel.
War risk insurance rates have soared more than 10-fold in the past few days to Israeli ports with growing concerns over an escalation in hostilities.