The impact 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 grown into huge proportions that are affecting the profits of shipping business and manufacturers around the glove.
Somalia has been without a working government for several years. A civil war ripped the country apart and the government that is officially in charge of the country is unable to stop the criminal on the coastal waters. The economy is in a shambles and those who served in the unofficial armies and poor fishermen have learned to put together their skills and engage in profitable tactics that have produced what add up to between 150 and 200 million dollars in ransoms.
Armed pirates approach a vessel that is tipping the Horn of Africa, capture the sailors, vessel and cargo hostage, and then demand several million dollars in money be given in exchange for the release of the sailors and vessel. The pirates are interested only in the money and have been willing to release the sailors and merchandise without harm when their demands are met. For a while, shipping business and foreign governments were eager to pay the ransoms to secure the release of the sailors and cargo. The pirates have been brazen, even seizing Russian weapons for a brief period of time.
The impact of pirates on cargo transportation companies has been devastating, not only millions of dollars in ransoms but expensive delays. Disrupted shipments have created a new problem in delivery dates as most prisoners and freight have remained under Somali control for a month or two at a time before being released. The logistics company has the responsibility of organizing the moving of cargo and is forced to appease shipment purchasers as the cargo stays in Somali ports undelivered.
Multi national incidents have accelerated as governments have chosen to respond with an armed military presence. The military vessels began patrolling international waters but have now moved into Somali sovereign waters with the governmentï¿½s permission. The military presence has slowed the pirates but the problem remains. Full Truckload
Where ransoms are being made, sophisticated weaponry is available. thieves are armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers, usually a recognizable danger to unarmed or lightly armed sailors on the attacked ships. fast vessels are the watercraft preferred and vessels stand little chance of getting away from them.
Countries as diverse as South Korea, Japan, India, Russia and the United States have sent their navies to accompany their ships through the area. As firepower has arrived, inevitable altercations between attacking pirates and the opposing militaries have led to the deaths of pirates and innocent civilians. An Indian vessel even shot at on another ship that was erroneously believed to be occupied by pirates, but didn`t.
The psychological impact on civilian crews has led to near panic when suspected pirates have approached. Captured crews have been treated well so far but thereï¿½s no assurance that this will continue.