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Maersk Alabama Hijacking
Captain Phillips
Modern Piracy

Maersk Alabama Hijacking

Adapted into a Hollywood feature film, the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama highlights modern day piracy and its continued impact on international shipping.

Captain Phillips

Published: 16 October 2013

On the 24th October 2014 Captain Phillips premiers across New Zealand - a much anticipated pulse-pounding thriller featuring piracy on the high seas. Based on a true story and starring two time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (Cast Away, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan) as Captain Richard Phillips, the film focuses on the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama container ship by Somali pirates, shedding light on piracy which remains a significant issue across the globe in the modern age.

Modern Piracy

The film prompted us to take a closer look at piracy which is reported to cost the world economy between US$13 and $16 billion annually. This year alone the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) reports 176 cases globally including 10 hijackings (published 31/08/13). Take a look at the 2013 live piracy map which highlights a sizeable portion of attacks this year have occurred in Southeast Asia around the Malacca Straits, the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Guinea near Nigeria.

With close to 500 liner shipping services operating worldwide with a combined outgoing annual TEU capacity exceeding 114 million (according to the World Shipping Council) the chance of a piracy attack on a container ship remains extremely low, particularly when you consider a sizeable portion of raids target alternative vessel types such as crude and chemical tankers, or smaller vessels such as tugs and barges. Countries such as the United States now patrol waters to defend vessels in and around some key trade routes which have reported high rates of piracy.

We note Champion Freight services have never been affected by piracy in over a decade of business specialising in the shipment of international sea freight.

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