Jan 23 (Reuters) - Attacks on vessels by Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen have disrupted international commerce on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The attacks, targeting a route that accounts for about 15% of the world's shipping traffic, have pushed several shipping companies to reroute their vessels.

The United States and Britain launched air strikes against Houthi military targets overnight on Jan. 11 and 12, widening a regional conflict stemming from Israel's war in Gaza.

Below are some companies' responses to the disturbances (in alphabetical order):


The oil major on Dec. 18 said it had temporarily paused all transits through the Red Sea.


The French food group said in December that most of its shipments had been diverted, increasing transit times. Should the situation last beyond 2-3 months, Danone will activate mitigation plans, including using alternate routes via sea or road wherever possible, its spokesperson said.


The German logistic company, which does not operate ships but uses them to transport containers, on Jan. 8 advised customers to take a close look at how they manage inventories. Its CEO said on Jan. 17 that the diversion of freight could lead to a shortage of shipping containers in Asia in the coming weeks.


The Swedish home appliance maker has set up a task force to find alternative routes or identify priority deliveries to try to avoid disruptions. It sees a limited impact on deliveries for now.


The Norwegian oil and gas firm on Dec. 18 said it had rerouted vessels that had been heading towards the Red Sea.


The maker of brands such as Libresse and TENA said it was staying in contact with impacted suppliers to ensure continued flow of goods, but added the impact on its business was limited.


The speciality chemicals maker said it was being hit by "short notice routing changes and delays", and was trying to mitigate the impact by ordering earlier and switching to air freight where possible.


The U.S. parcel delivery giant said on Jan. 14 it hadn't seen much of a shift to air freight due to disruptions in the Red Sea.


The German chemicals maker said as a result of the delays, it had lowered production of dishwasher and toilet tablets because it couldn't get enough trisodium citrate, and sulfamic and citric acid. The company is reviewing its three-shift system, CEO and owner Martina Nighswonger said.


Geely, China's second-largest automaker by sales, said on Dec. 22 its electric vehicle (EV) sales would likely be impacted by a delay in deliveries, as most shipping firms it uses to export EVs to Europe reroute ships around Africa.


The Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture retailer is sticking to planned price cuts despite increased costs, and has sufficient stocks to absorb any supply chain shocks, it said on Jan. 15.


The Finnish elevator maker said the situation may in some cases delay shipments, but most of its customer deliveries should stay on schedule. Kone said it had prepared for the disruptions by seeking alternative delivery methods and routes.


Four factories in Spain owned by the French tyre maker halted output on Jan. 20-21 due to delays in the delivery of raw materials. A spokesperson for Michelin's Spanish subsidiary told Reuters there were no more weekend stops planned.


The British clothing retailer's CEO on Jan. 4 said sales growth would likely be moderated if disruptions continued through 2024. He said Next, which sources the majority of its products from Asia, could mitigate this through earlier ordering or using some air freight.


The Poundland owner warned on. Jan. 18 its supply could be impacted in coming months if disruptions continue. There is a limited impact on product availability currently, it said.


Associated British Foods' Primark business is coping with disruptions by adjusting timings and stock flow, AB Foods finance director Eoin Tonge told Reuters on Jan. 23. The group does not anticipate any significant pricing moves from Primark in 2023/24 and does not consider using air freight to be economical or sustainable.


The world's second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas has stopped sending tankers via the Red Sea although production continues, a senior source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Jan. 15.


"We're making sure that we plan the sequencing of product from Asia Pacific so that we get products in the right order," CEO Simon Roberts said, adding that long term contracts with shippers "mitigate any cost impact as far as possible".


The British oil major suspended all shipments through the Red Sea indefinitely, the Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 16, citing people familiar with the decision. Shell declined to comment.


Suzuki's Hungary's production plant restarted manufacturing on Jan. 22 as planned following a halt since Jan. 15 due to delays in the arrival of Japanese-made engines. It said shipping routes were changed to pass around Africa, which could affect pricing.


The U.S. retailer is experiencing some disruptions of shipments from India and Pakistan, a source familiar with the matter said on Jan. 12, calling the effect "minor" overall.


The U.S. EV maker will suspend most car production at its factory near Berlin from Jan. 29 to Feb. 11 due to a lack of components caused by shifts in transport routes.


Deliveries for the U.S. retailer have been delayed anywhere from two to 20-plus days, the company's chief supply chain operator said on Jan. 12.


The Swedish automaker said on Jan. 12 it would halt production at its plant in Belgium for three days due to delays caused by the situation in the Red Sea.

(Compiled by Izabela Niemiec and Paolo Laudani in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Mark Potter)