Shippers cut risk premiums as piracy stats improve
Most shipping companies with routes around the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia have reduced their risk premiums due to fewer piracy cases in the first half of 2012, website Businessdailyafrica.com reported.
The story reported most shipping lines had reduced risk surcharges down from US$600 to US$400-500, following International Maritime Bureau (IMB) data that showed there were 69 incidents involving Somali pirates in the first half compared to 163 during the same period last year.
"Things have stabilised and most ships are no longer slapping piracy related surcharges on freight costs," Kenya Shippers Council (KSC) CEO Gilbert Lagat was quoted as saying.
The decline was attributes to a bigger naval presence in the region and commercial shippers using private security firms.
"The naval actions play an essential role in frustrating the pirates. There is no alternative to their continued presence," IMB director Pottengal Mukundan was quoted as saying.
The story reported it was expected piracy would remain low despite the end of the monsoon season, which tends to lead to rougher conditions that discourage pirates.
A report from Australia's Lowy Institute found more than 140 private companies were providing armed protection for vessels in the Indian Ocean.