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Steven Maxwell


Friday 21st November 2008, 10:01 London

Maersk reroutes ships to avoid pirates

Shipping group to divert east Africa container services round the Cape of Good Hope to avoid Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden

Maersk reroutes ships to avoid pirates

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Leading global shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk has announced that it will reroute its slower vessels away from the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of east Africa in order to avoid the threat of Somali pirates.

Instead, the Denmark-based company said its vessels without adequate speed or freeboard would for the time being avoid the Gulf of Aden and seek alternative routing south of the Cape of Good Hope and east of Madagascar.

“In order to continuously ensure the safety of our crews as well as vessels and cargo, A.P. Moller - Maersk has updated the policy for vessels entering the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of East Africa,” said the company in a statement. “The update is a consequence of the recent development in piracy hijackings in the area.”

However, based upon availability of escorts these vessels may join naval convoy transit in the Gulf of Aden, it added.

“The policy change will primarily impact our tanker vessels. Only three container vessels will be affected and we expect to further limit the impact by redeployment,” said Søren Skou, partner and member of the executive board at A.P. Moller-Maersk.

“We believe that piracy in the Gulf of Aden is a threat to important international trade lanes and therefore an international security issue. It must be addressed by relevant authorities and the international community. It is not a problem that A.P. Moller-Maersk or the shipping industry can solve alone,” he added.

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