The Dutch shipping industry is active worldwide in various market segments such as bulk goods (for example wheat, sand, wood), tankers, sea tugs and offshore work vessels, with the vast majority of the fleet operating in European waters. Dutch shipowners are not represented in the intercontinental transport of containers and crude oil.
Ships from Dutch shipowners regularly sail through the Suez Canal, and therefore also through the Red Sea region. In ‘normal’ times this involves the passage of an average of one to two ships per day. This not only accounts for ships that transport goods, but also ships working on location, such as workboats and tugboats.
Due to the current situation in the Red Sea region, a detour via the Cape of Good Hope is a realistic option. However, this route involves more sailing days due to the extra nautical miles. How many days that is depends on, among other things, the type of cargo, the ship and the weather conditions. The extra costs for fuel, crew, supplies, maintenance and insurance are an important factor in this. This can vary from several hundred thousand to over a million dollars. It is important for the shipowner to be able to pass these costs on to the customer, otherwise this will damage the financial position of the shipping company. This is not possible for every shipping company. On the other hand, the costs for security guards and the costs of passing through the Suez Canal, for example, will be eliminated. The longer voyage not only affects the cost of the voyage, but also ensures that the ship can carry out fewer jobs in the same time. If this situation takes a longer period of time, it may result in more vessels being needed to serve the international market.