Piracy risk on the rise in APAC region

Piracy risk is on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region, representing a major concern for Australian ship owners and operators, according to a new report from Allianz.

The fourth annual Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) Safety and Shipping Review highlights several key risks to Australian businesses active in the marine industry. While piracy risk is declining elsewhere in the world, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) reports that pirate attacks in South East Asia, through which most of Australia’s international trade is shipped, are on the increase

SE Asia now accounts for around 60% of all incidents (246 piracy attacks), with Vietnam emerging as the new piracy hotspot. Almost 55% of the region’s 147 attacks were against moving vessels compared with 37% a year earlier. Most were aimed at low-level theft. The report also notes that cyber risks in the maritime and shipping industry are evolving rapidly and require industry attention.

Ron Johnson, Regional Marine Manager at AGCS Pacific in Sydney, said: “The Internet of Things has opened up the shipping industry to the potential for hackers to access shipping company and port records, as well as on-board vessel identification and navigational systems.

“This leaves the entire shipping system exposed, enabling pirates and terrorists to identify target cargoes and obtain information about more vulnerable ships and locations.”

The dangers of supply chain failures has been highlighted in the report following the Tianjin port explosions of Ausust 2015.

“Tianjin was not on many people’s radar as an accumulation risk prior to the explosions, yet 285 of the Fortune Global 500 companies had facilities there and it clearly represented a significant supply chain risk many businesses were not prepared for,” added Johnson.

Other risks outlined in the report include the potential for ‘mega-ship’ losses, super-storms and weather phenomenon, such as El Nino, to impact on the shipping sector across the region.

You can access the full report here.