Yulia Karra
January 4

Israeli shipping company Trucknet Enterprise claims it has received permission to operate a land bridge through the Middle East that aims to bypass the threat of Iran-backed Houthi rebels. 

The Houthis declared a war on Israel in the wake of the military operation against Hamas in Gaza, sparked by the October 7 Hamas onslaught. 

Since October, the Yemenite militants have attacked a host of Israel-affiliated cargo ships in the Red Sea, significantly disrupting shipments of goods.

As a result, international shipping companies have dramatically increased insurance rates for Israeli cargo, adding the so-called emergency risk surcharge.

About 20% of the world's oil and gas exports pass through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait between Yemen and Africa, making it vulnerable to Houthi attack. Map illustration by Below the Sky via Shutterstock.com
About 20% of the world’s oil and gas exports pass through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait between Yemen and Africa, making it vulnerable to Houthi attack. Map illustration by Below the Sky via Shutterstock.com

The Trucknet Enterprise plan seeks to bypass the Red Sea altogether, aiming to transport goods by land from the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain through Saudi Arabia and Jordan and into Israel.

The Eilat-based firm said it has already signed cooperation agreements with the UAE shipment companies Puretrans FZCO and DP World

From Israel, the cargo could be moved to Egypt, where it can continue on to Europe. To facilitate this, Trucknet Enterprise has also signed a cooperation deal with the Egyptian logistics company WWCS. 

Trucknet Enterprise founder Hanan Friedman said that besides being more secure, the proposed land route will also offer lower transportation costs and take only 20% of the time the Red Sea route takes.

“The security threats to international trade in the Red Sea require a solution — at a high standard and at a competitive price point,” Friedman said in a statement. 

“The proposed route provides this solution. Trucknet’s technology, which will be implemented by the carriers on this route, will streamline the shipping process and enable full, real-time digitization and monitoring [of the shipping process], in a way that will ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements in all the countries the cargo would pass through.”

He said Trucknet has already received the approval of Israel’s Defense Ministry and other relevant authorities. 

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