Merchant seafarers deserve our protection

We have crossed the threshold of a new year, but one issue may continue to haunt shippers in 2011: the scourge of global piracy.

By ·

We have crossed the threshold of a new year, but one issue may continue to haunt shippers in 2011: the scourge of global piracy.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce, (ICC) over 500 seafarers – of many different nationalities – are currently being held hostage by Somali pirates.

“In fear for their safety, and even of their lives, and deprived of contact with their families, these seafarers have also suffered the trauma of having their ships attacked with automatic weapons, prior to being kidnapped for ransom,” said the ICC.  “Many have been held captive for several months, often in the most appalling conditions, by armed criminals who can be violent and unpredictable.”

As we have noted in this blog before, merchant seafarers are too often out of sight and out of mind.  It is vital that the international community focuses on the plight of those held in Somalia, as well as the tens of thousands of ships’ crew who keep the supply chain strong and resilient.

The ICC observed that there has been an unprecedented degree of cooperation among the world’s military navies, whose dedicated personnel are seeking to provide protection to merchant shipping.  But the number of navy ships available is simply insufficient to prevent vulnerable ships from being attacked.  Moreover, 85 percent of those pirates pursued and captured end up being released, only to reoffend with impunity.  The risk/reward ratio is still far too much in the pirates’ favor.? ?

“A few months ago there was an incredible global response to plight of the miners trapped in Chile,” said the ICC.  “The 500 seafarers, held hostage in Somalia, are also isolated and terrified, and deserve similar recognition from the media and the public at large.”

Since January 2008, over 2,600 seafarers have been held hostage by Somali pirates.  Additional information is published by the ICC International Maritime Bureau, which does an excellent job collecting statistics and information about piracy attacks on behalf of the global shipping industry.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Piracy · Shipping · Supply Chain · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Logistics Network Analysis
Logistics network monitoring is an important step in understanding what actually occurs throughout your supply chain.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and the most successful shippers will be those that are able to mitigate their impact on profitability. And, the right technology will play an increasingly vital role in driving efficiencies across the global logistics network.
The Future of Retail Distribution
Navigating the Reverse Supply Chain for Connected Devices
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
IAM, IoT and the Connected Supply Chain
There are three primary models of Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology that CTOs, CSOs, and Supply Chain executives are using to enhance their trading partner communities. While each leverages IAM and the IoT as core components only an “Outside-in” approach truly connects people, systems and things reliably and securely across the supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...

Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...