With war in Israel, how are the ports being affected?

October 17, 2023 /

Israel’s air cargo and marine gateways for trade are functioning under signs of strains as the country’s war against Hamas continues.

The backlog of ships is growing at Israeli ports while operations continue at most terminals amid preparations by the military to launch a ground assault in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Ashdod port has imposed restrictions on the transport of hazardous materials which has meant slower transits.

The port said in its latest statement posted on its website that it continued to operate as normal "even under wartime", adding that it was prepared to continue to supply Israel's economy with everything that was needed "around the clock" to ensure the population did not experience shortages.

The Port of Haifa, which handles multiple cargo segments including dry bulk goods, said on Sunday it was working continuously and also throughout the weekend.

"The activity has been reinforced to the maximum possible, within the operational and manpower limitations, in order to receive cargo of all types, including cargo that was diverted from the direction of Ashdod and unloaded at the Port of Haifa,” it said in a statement.

Israel's Economy Ministry said separately on Thursday there was a shortage on manpower making it harder to transport and replenish inventories due to higher consumption, although there was no shortage of supplies and urged people not to hoard food.

Haifa port have been evacuating Israeli nationals, and with flights being cancelled they have arrived from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to board ships to Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and beyond.

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Source: Reuters / The time of Israel / Bloomberg