Transportation of Cargo

The violence at sea escalates

In combating piracy on the high seas, shipping companies and the community of nations are relying increasingly on the use of weapons. The number of successful pirate attacks dropped significantly in 2011. Nonetheless, the risk situation off the coast of Somalia calls for ongoing scrutiny. Munich Re has issued a new publication on the subject.


Following lengthy deliberation, the shipping companies and community of nations fighting piracy on the high seas have decided to deploy military vessels and armed security personnel. These measures showed effect for the first time in 2011, during which the number of attacks rose, but fewer ships were taken than in the preceding year. The number of hostages taken was therefore also lower, but there was greater readiness to engage in violence. Our experts, Dieter Berg and Tillmann Kratz, have been following this subject for years.

The pirates off the coast of Somalia have adjusted to the new situation, adopting heavier weapons and bigger ships to enhance their striking power. To press their demands, they are resorting to brute force against their hostages and holding them for extended periods. Even if it is true that armed force is necessary at this time to protect crews and ships, Munich Re is appealing to the community of nations to establish an efficient system of enforcing laws and convicting criminals. These efforts must be accompanied by the promotion of social reforms in the country.

New publication "Piracy – The violence at sea escalates"

In September of this year, our marine experts again issued a new publication on this subject which sheds light on the current risk situation and considers the full range of legal and underwriting aspects. To download the brochure or for other interesting links, please see the bottom of this page.