The significance of pirates on freight transportation? | Forward Freight

The effect of pirates on cargo shipments has come to the forefront of global news as pirates based in Somalia have seized ships in recent months. The problem has exploded into huge proportions that are affecting the bottom line of logistics business and manufacturers around the glove.

Somalia has been without a functional government for several years. A civil war tore the country apart and the government that is officially in charge of the country is unable to stop the illegal activity along the coastal waters. The economy is in a wreck and those who were in in the militias and impoverished fishermen have learned to put together their talents and engage in money-making activities that have produced what may total between 150 and 200 million dollars in payments.

Dangerous pirates move towards a ship that is sailing around the Horn of Africa, take the sailors, ship and merchandise hostage, and then demand several million dollars in ransom be paid for the freedom of the sailors and ship. The pirates are interested only in the ransom and have been willing to release the sailors and cargo unharmed when their demands are met. For a while, shipping business and national governments were eager to pay the ransoms to gain the freedom of the crews and merchandise. The pirates have been brave, even seizing Russian weapons for a brief period of time.

The effect of pirates on freight transportation companies has been devastating, not only millions of dollars in ransoms but costly delays. Disrupted shipments have created a new problem in delivery dates as most hostages and freight have remained under Somali control for a month or two at a time before being released. The logistics business has the responsibility of organizing the moving of freight and is made to appease shipment purchasers as the freight stays in Somali ports undelivered. API Integration

International incidents have accelerated as governments have chosen to respond with an armed naval response. The naval ships began patrolling international waters but have now moved into Somali sovereign waters with the government�s permission. The naval presence has slowed the pirates but the threat remains.

Where money is being made, sophisticated weapons are accessible. thieves are brandishing with automatic rifles and grenade launchers, usually a real threat to unarmed or lightly armed crews on the victim ships. Speedboats are the watercraft preferred and freighters stand little chance of outrunning them.

Nations as different as South Korea, Japan, India, Russia and the U.S. have sent their navies to escort their ships through the area. As firepower has arrived, inevitable conflicts between attacking pirates and the defending navies have led to the demise of pirates and innocent noncombatants. An Indian vessel even fired on another vessel that was mistakenly believed to be carrying pirates, but wasn`t.

The psychological impact on civilian crew members has led to near panic when suspected pirates have approached. Captured crews have been treated well so far but there�s no guarantee that this will continue.