Israel’s Transport Ministry is seeking to clarify the reported decision by Chinese shipper COSCO to halt shipping to Israel, it said on Tuesday January 9th. While several reports in Israeli media from Sunday on said that COSCO had suspended shipping to Israel – which caused a fall in the share price of locally based shipping company and COSCO partner ZIM – COSCO itself has declined to comment.
Replying to a Reuters query, the Israeli transport ministry said that “the Administration of Shipping and Ports is working with the relevant parties to clarify the Chinese shipping company’s announcement to stop sailing to Israel”.
While the ports of Israel remain open to business, there has been a drop-off in traffic – a potential problem for the country as it relies on the sea for nearly all of its imports and exports. The small port of Eilat on the Red Sea in particular has seen a huge drop in activity since the Houthi attacks began in November, although this has had little impact on the domestic market as the country handles most of its trade via the Mediterranean.