Since Hamas' attack on Israel October 7th, Iran-backed Houthi rebels — which control large portions of northern Yemen — have attacked numerous commercial ships making their way to the Suez Canal in Egypt.
The tensions have prompted major shipping companies to reroute their ships through the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.
It's a much longer route that's costing companies millions just as consumers spend big for the holidays.
The Houthi threat comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a multi-national coalition that will work to protect shipping in the Red Sea.
The State Department is considering re-classifying the Houthis as a terrorist organization.
That's a designation the department removed from the group in February 2021, just a month after the outgoing Trump administration slapped the label on them.
The World Economic Forum notes 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal.
And that was before drought prompted officials at a water-starved Panama Canal to reduce the number of ships moving through the Central American passage.
Many shipping lines moving goods from Asia to the U.S. East Coast started sending ships through the Suez instead.
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