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
Outsourced Transportation Management
All the benefits of owning a fleet without the headache of managing it.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...