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Ikea facing delays, disruption due to Red Sea attacks

By Catherine Thorbecke, CNN

New York (CNN) — Ikea says it is expecting delays and possible availability constraints for certain products as a result of the ongoing attacks on ships in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels.

“The situation in the Suez Canal will result in delays and may cause availability constraints for certain IKEA products,” the Swedish furniture giant’s parent company, Inter IKEA Group, told CNN in a company statement Wednesday.

“We are in close dialogue with our transportation partners to ensure the safety of people working in the IKEA value chain and to take all the necessary precautions to keep them safe,” the statement added. “This is our main priority.”

The company said it is in the midst of evaluating other supply routing options to secure the availability of its products and continues to monitor the situation.

Inter IKEA Group also emphasized that the company does not own any container vessels, and that shipments are managed by “transportation partners.”

Ikea’s comments come after other major companies, including oil giant BP and shipping giant Maersk, said they were temporarily suspending their operations in the Red Sea because of the continued attacks on vessels in recent weeks by Houthi rebels.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants have said they are striking ships in the Red Sea as revenge against Israel for its ongoing military campaign in Gaza. Over the last month, Houthi rebels have launched at least 100 attacks against a dozen different commercial and merchant vessels in the Red Sea.

The Red Sea is home to one of the most important maritime trade routes in the world, and at least 44 countries have connections to vessels attacked by the Houthi militants.

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CNN’s Parija Kavilanz contributed to this report.

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