Maersk’s new container route to diplomatically-isolated Qatar delayed

Container shipping companies have been hit as a result of the recent terror accusations levelled against Qatar

Last week, a number of states bordering on Qatar broke off diplomatic relations, closed their airspace and borders, and expelled Qatari citizens.

READ ALSO: Maersk Oil loses major contract in Qatar

These sanctions were put in place because of accusations that Qatar is sponsoring terrorism in its neighbouring countries and supporting militant Islamic groups in Syria and Yemen.

Qatar denies the allegations, but the situation has ended in a diplomatic stalemate.

No traffic
At present, it is not possible for shipping companies to sail to Qatar from the lands behind the boycott, which encompass Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen, reports Berlingske Business.

As a result, Cosco Shipping, Evergreen, and OOCL have suspended operations to Qatar for the time being.

A possible way out
AP Møller-Maersk has been involved in container traffic to Qatar for many years and has been trying to find a way around the problem.

It is still possible to sail to Qatar from countries which are not part of the boycott, so the company hopes to be able to sail through Salalah in Oman.

This new service was supposed to have started on June 19 but the start-up has now been postponed until June 26, when the Jack London is expected to sail from Salalah with an eta in Doha of June 30.