Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big Three Container Shipping Lines Unite Against Pirates

MSC - Maersk - CMA CGM Vow to Repel Boarders
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – In an unprecedented agreement the three largest container shipping groups in the world, Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), French CMA CGM and Danish Maersk Line have vowed to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean by joining resources. The three companies will freely exchange information on safety measures, piracy policies and procedures as well as coordination to ensure the issue is addressed with all relevant stakeholders.

Given the size of the three and the technologies available to them this could be another significant step to reducing the success of the pirate gangs currently plaguing the seas of the world. All three have had dealings with the raiders at one time or another whilst carrying freight in the troubled areas, and the group agree on the importance of the Best Management Practices for safe sailing in the area where the Somali pirates continue to attack and hijack vessels.

As one the group welcome and support the international community’s efforts to fight the problem of piracy in terms of the naval presence in the Gulf of Aden and the pursuit of appropriate legal frameworks to ensure pirates are prosecuted and held responsible for their crimes. In a joint statement the three companies commented:

“The root causes of this problem cannot be addressed overnight. Therefore, it is imperative that the naval forces have a strong and dynamic mandate to match the constantly changing situation in the area. It is also vital that the acts of piracy do not go unpunished, which is why appropriate legal frameworks for prosecuting pirates are needed.

“Following the Anti-Piracy Best Management Practice is an important step in preventing hijackings and we fully support the use and further development of the BMP.”

CMA CGM, MSC and Maersk Line also support proposals for regional capacity building to address the issue such as a regional coast guard and possible transit corridors to East Africa.