Piracy Incidents Drop, but Horizon isn’t Clear

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The first half of 2022 saw maritime piracy drop to 68 incidents last year. The organization warns against complacency.

195 attempted and successful attacks were recorded by IMB for 2020, up from 162 in 2019.  It is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic played a part in this rise in pirate activity. This is because it is linked to underlying socio-political and economic problems. 2022 could be the beginning of a decline.

 

Many people don’t know that piracy is still a serious threat in the 21 century. Global insurer Zurich estimated that piracy costs the world’s economy $12 billion annually. Allianz, a global insurer, reports that piracy is responsible for machinery damage, failure, collision, and contact in terms of the number of loss-causing events globally. Total losses have fallen by 57 percent over ten years.

The shipping industry is susceptible to disruptions. Allianz notes that the invasion of Russia by Ukraine has caused multiple problems for the industry, including loss of life and ships in the Black Sea, disrupted trade, and challenges to daily operations, which have affected crews, fuel costs, and increased cyber risk.

Allianz states that the vessels trading with Russia and operating in the Black Sea have had the greatest impact. Around 2,000 seafarers were trapped aboard Ukrainian vessels at the beginning of the conflict. The constant threat of attack on trapped crews meant that they had little or no access to food and medical supplies. Many were even killed.

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According to Allianz, 44% of maritime professionals said that their company has been the victim of cyber-attacks in the past three years. Mega ports are seeing an increase in cargo exposures. With technology becoming more important, an outage or cyber attack could result in a port being closed.

After recent incidents at U.S. ports and South African ports, India’s busiest container port in India was attacked by ransomware in February 2022.

Allianz found that a third of respondents said they do not have a plan for cyber-response or regular cyber security training.

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