The effect of thieves on cargo shipments has come to the attention of global news as pirates based in Somalia have hijacked vessels in recent months. The problem has exploded into huge proportions that are affecting the profits of logistics 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 control of the country is powerless to stop the lawlessness on the coastal waters. The economy is in a shambles and those who served in the militias 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 thieves approach a vessel that is sailing around the Horn of Africa, capture the sailors, vessel and freight for ransom, and then demand several million dollars in ransom be paid for the release of the sailors and vessel. The thieves are motivated by 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 foreign governments were more than willing to pay the money to gain the release of the crews and freight. The thieves have been brazen, even seizing Russian tanks for a brief period of time.
The effect of thieves on cargo transportation businesses has been destructive, not only millions of dollars in money but costly delays. Disrupted shipments have created a new problem in delivery dates as most prisoners and merchandise have remained under Somali control for a few weeks or two at a time before being released. The logistics business has the responsibility of organizing the moving of cargo and is forced to appease shipment buyers as the cargo lies in Somali ports undelivered.
Multi national incidents have become more common as governments have chosen to respond with an dangerous naval presence. The naval vessels began patrolling international waters but have now moved into Somali sovereign waters with the governmentï¿½s approval. The naval presence has slowed the thieves but the threat remains.
Where ransoms are being made, sophisticated weaponry is available. Pirates are armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers, typically a recognizable threat to unarmed or lightly dangerous crews on the victim vessels. Speedboats are the watercraft preferred and ships stand little chance of outrunning them. Lalamove API
Countries as different as South Korea, Japan, India, Russia and the U.S. have sent their navies to escort their vessels through the area. As firepower has arrived, inevitable conflicts between assaulting thieves and the opposing navies have led to the demise of thieves and without guilt civilians. An Indian ship even shot at on another vessel that was erroneously thought to be carrying thieves, but didn`t.
The psychological impact on civilian sailors has led to near panic when suspected thieves have approached. Captured crew members have been treated well so far but thereï¿½s no assurance that this will continue.