Caution Urged Despite Downturn in Reported Maritime Piracy Incidents

Caution Urged Despite Downturn in Reported Maritime Piracy Incidents

Maritime piracy and armed robbery attacks in 2021 reached their lowest recorded level since 1994, according to the annual piracy report of the International Chamber of Commerce, published Jan. 13. The chamber’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) attributes the drop in incidents to vigorous action taken by authorities, but it is also calling for continued coordination and vigilance to ensure the long-term protection of seafarers. “While the overall reduction in globally reported incidents is welcomed, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre urges coastal states to acknowledge the inherent risk from piracy and armed robbery and robustly address this crime within the waters…
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Tank Container Risk Analysis Reflects Supply Chain Pressures

An analysis of 2020 insurance claims data by London-based insurance and related risk management services provider TT Club points to an increase in impact related incidents, with corrosion of tank containers’ inner surface and contamination caused by cargoes previously carried as significant other causes of loss. The analysis makes clear that the effects of increased volumes of tank containers used to trade chemicals and other liquids on the primary east-west trades have altered, to a degree, the risk profile of damage to such units. While in previous years there has been a consistent dominance of contamination as the major source…
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European Oil Port Terminals Crippled by Cyberattack and Ransomware

European Oil Port Terminals Crippled by Cyberattack and Ransomware

In late January 2022, a substantial ransomware attack negatively impacted at least 17 ports and oil terminals in Western Europe. The ransomware/malware attack also affected oil storage and transport. The companies reportedly impacted, according to a report on the GovInfoSecurity website included Oiltanking and Mabanaft in Germany, SEA-Invest in Belgium, and Evos in The Netherlands. Also affected were six oil storage terminals in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area. The impacts of the cyberattack resulted in re-routing tankers, significantly disrupting supply chains and causing difficulty loading and unloading refined product. The Baker Botts LLP international law firm indicated that as of early February,…
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Panama Canal Closes Fiscal Year 2021 with Record Tonnage

Panama Canal Closes Fiscal Year 2021 with Record Tonnage

The Panama Canal closed its fiscal year 2021 with a record-breaking annual tonnage of 516.7 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), coming in 8.7% higher compared to the 2020 fiscal year (FY20) and 10% above tonnage registered in FY19, the waterway’s last pre-pandemic fiscal year, according to data released by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The gains were despite fiscal year 2021 for the Canal being marked by unprecedented supply chain challenges caused by the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Related disruptions drove container rates to rise exponentially and production to slow down across various sectors, due to raw material…
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U.N. Security Council Adopts Anti-Piracy Resolution

U.N. Security Council Adopts Anti-Piracy Resolution

The UN Security Council on Dec. 3 adopted a resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as measures to keep vessels safe have returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Security Council adopted Resolution 2608, which, among other things, condemns piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali coast, underscoring that it exacerbates instability by introducing “illicit cash that fuels crime, corruption and terrorism.” However, the resolution only provides for a three-month extension for an existing program that allows international naval forces to fight piracy off Somalia’s coast. Although…
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IMO Council Creates International Day for Women in Maritime

The International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Council has established an International Day for Women in Maritime, which is to be observed each year on May 18. Adopted by the IMO Assembly in December 2021, the observance would celebrate women in the industry, promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen IMO’s commitment to gender equality and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.    The proposal to establish an International Day for Women in Maritime was first addressed by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC) in…
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Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery Incidents at Lowest Level in Decades: IMB

The latest global piracy report from the International Maritime Bureau recorded 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021—the lowest level of reported incidents since 1994. In 2021, the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) reported 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked. Although reported incidents are down to their lowest level in decades, violence against seafarers has continued with 51 crew members kidnapped, eight taken hostage, five threatened, three injured, two assaulted and one killed, according to the latest statistics from the IMB, which is a division…
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Shipping Industry Leaders Call for Decarbonization  of International Shipping

Shipping Industry Leaders Call for Decarbonization of International Shipping

About 150 global companies and organizations, including the Northwest Seaport Alliance, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Panama Canal Authority, on Sept. 22 called for the global shipping industry to be fully decarbonized by 2050, urging governments around the world to take action. The signatories of the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization urged world leaders to align shipping with the Paris Agreement temperature goal. “The private sector is already taking important steps to decarbonize global supply chains. Now governments must deliver the policies that will supercharge the transition and make zero emission shipping the default choice by 2030,” the…
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US Navy Ship Deployed  to Piracy Hot Spot for Training

US Navy Ship Deployed to Piracy Hot Spot for Training

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, a US Navy expeditionary mobile base, was deployed to the Gulf of Guinea in September to serving as the training platform for the exercise Operation Guinex. The military exercise, which ran through the end of September, focused on U.S. and Brazil’s “shared interest in maritime safety and freedom of commerce across the southern Atlantic,” according to U.S. Naval Forces Africa. The operation was one of several maritime training missions scheduled for Operation Guinex, the first U.S.-Brazil joint training to be held off Africa’s Atlantic coast. In recent years, the Gulf of Guinea has been the…
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Shippers Redraw Perimeter of High Piracy Risk Area

Shipping groups have redrawn the perimeters of the so-called High Risk Area covering Yemen and Somalia due to a decrease in Somali piracy. As of Sept. 1, the High Risk Area (HRA) was set to be scaled back to cover the Yemeni and Somali territorial seas and exclusive economic zones to the east and south. The changes were agreed to by the Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), representing the global…
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