Suez Canal losing out to the Jack Sparrows

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Suez Canal losing out to the Jack Sparrows

Post by Ebikatsu »

Mohamed Abdel Salam

13 December 2009

CAIRO: Suez Canal revenues declined dramatically during the past 11 months of this year, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) reported. The SCA said that revenues declined by $1.057 billion as compared to the previous year as a result of transport companies using alternative routes due to the significant Somali piracy fears.

An official from the SCA told local newspapers that the revenues of the Suez Canal during the period from January until the end of November reached 4.318 billion compared to 5.375 billion dollars during the same period last year. He pointed out that the total number of vessels crossing the canal during the same period amounted to 15,774 vessels compared to 19,855 vessels during the same period the previous year , a decline of 4,081 ships.

Despite the downturn this year, the SCA administration announced that its revenues have already started to improve again, despite the continuing drop, but November revenues had decreased significantly by 12.8 percent compared to November 2008. The official attributed the decline to lower demand of owners of ships to operate it the canal during the coming period “that coincides with the Christmas holidays and celebrations.”

November revenues reached 365 million dollars compared to 419 million dollars during the same month of last year, which results in a decline of 54 million dollars.

“We always see November as a down month, and with this year’s problems in terms of global financial crisis and piracy, it is not surprising,” the official said.

Economists have said that as international action is taken against the pirates and the global crisis begins to subside, the canal should return to its normal position as the leading waterway that connects Asia and Europe.

The SCA said in January this year that it would keep transit fees unchanged in 2009, despite predicting the decline in the movement of ships due to global financial crisis.

The canal, during 2008, earned its highest revenues in its history, some 5.382 billion dollars, an increase of 71.6 percent compared to 2007, while the total number of vessels crossing the canal reached 21,420 ships, an increase of 5.1 percent. According to the SCA, the total cargo passing through it reached 910 million tons, an increase of 7.3 percent.


Now I don't understand this at all.

You can bomb other countries if you want their oil. You can switch governments and control what you want.
You can threaten other countries if you think your supply might get cut or stopped by military action.

Now can someone please explain how come you can't stop a few scurvied Somalians in little boats from attacking huge bloody tankers and cruise ship and demanding and GETTING millions in ransom?
Why are Spain and Italy paying millions when all they need to do is arm the merchant fleets.
Am I missing something here? :?

Is it not that simple?

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Post by LivinginLuxor »

Yes - you are missing something. Firstly they are not scurvied Somalians in little boats. The boats are controlled now by 'mother ships' so they operate from Madagascar to the south, and way out into the Indian ocean - a vast area of water.
Arming merchant fleets would not be the answer either, because of the risk of death to civilians - remember no hostage has been killed by the Somalians - the only ones that died were during an attempt to rescue them at sea by the French Navy.

The boats are fairly small and probably don't show up on radar, causing even more problems for the naval forces there. One big however is that the governments of those countries operating ships have given rules of engagement which state that the vessels cannot fire on the Somali boats! Which is really stupid in my opinion.
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Post by Horus »

Stan is correct about the rules of engagement, all down to the human rights of Somali fishermen.
My plan would be to set up a sea lane a given distance off the Somali coastline and police it. All larger vessels would have to transmit a security code that was monitored by naval vessels whilst within the secure lane, any not transmitting would be intercepted and boarded by force if necessary and sunk if any resistance was shown. In addition no small vessels would be allowed within the zone on pain of being blown out of the water. The pirates will soon get the message, in the same way that plane hijackers in the mid 70s started to realise that there were no hijackers being captured after security forces would storm a plane. The reason of course was a shoot to kill policy adopted by most European countries, once this became common knowledge the hijackings diminished. After a few dozen pirates fail to return they will start to get the message, it is a simple case of upping the game until they realise it’s futility. Better still would be some sort of rule of law in Somalia carried out by a lawfully government capable of imposing its authority over its people.
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