Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Merchant seafarers deserve our protection

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
January 07, 2011

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

image
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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

As was the case for the second quarter, third quarter earnings results for publicly-traded less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are again strong. Signs of solid earnings results from carriers that have posted earnings to date include tonnage increases, gains in weight per shipment and average daily shipments, higher yield, and revenue per hundredweight.

While the holiday season is known to bring good tidings and cheer to all, it may also come with another thing that is not so pleasant: higher rate freights. That was the thesis of a commentary written by Mark Montague, industry pricing analyst and chief market-watcher for DAT, a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of TransCore.

Earlier this week, FedEx said it is expanding its International First service for early deliveries with the addition of 31 new origin countries, which will bring the total number of origin markets for the service to 97.

Monday, December 22 is pegged as UPS's peak delivery day, as the company expects to deliver more than 34 million packages that day, adding that it expects to see six days in December top last year’s peak shipment day delivery record of 31 million packages.

The time has come again for less-than-truckload (LTL) general rate increases (GRI), with various carriers recently announced their respective rate hikes in recent days.

Article Topics

Blogs · Supply Chain · Shipping · Piracy · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA