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The Government of Nigeria and a coalition of global shipping stakeholders have launched a new strategy to end piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

The strategy establishes a mechanism to periodically assess the effectiveness of country-piracy initiatives and commitments in the GoG. Targeted at all stakeholders operating in the region, it will identify areas of improvement and reinforcement in order to eliminate piracy.

The plan is split into two mutually supportive sections:

  • Actions which can be overseen by the Nigerian Industry Working Group (NIWG);
  • Actions which require engagement with other regional and international partners.

The strategic ambition of the coalition is to eliminate piracy in the GoG, to secure trade routes, reassure traversing crews, and support local communities. In May, the UN Security Council condemned the GoG as the world’s piracy hotspot.

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During the period 5 – 11 July 22, one incident of armed robbery against ships in Asia.

The incident occurred to a ship while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), north of Tanjung Pergam, (Indonesia) in the Singapore Strait (SS) on 8 July 22.

In the incident, five unauthorised personnel armed with machetes were sighted in the steering gear room. The master raised the alarm, mustered the crew and conducted a search on board the ship.

There was no further sighting of the perpetrators. The master reported the incident to Singapore’s Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS). The crew members were safe, and nothing was stolen.

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A number of recent container fire incidents related to containers which were declared as miscellaneous items but actually contained charcoal/carbon. This is a commodity liable to spontaneous combustion.

These containers were below deck, and when fires broke out, there was considerable damage caused to the vessel and other cargo by the fire and the water used to extinguish the fire.

The vessels’ CO2 system assisted in putting the fires out. Fire experts have also advised that they are aware of numerous other fires in containers of charcoal tablets in recent months.

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The war in the Ukraine is stifling trade and logistics of Ukraine and the Black Sea region. The search for alternate trade routes for Ukrainian goods has rapidly increased the demands on land and maritime transport infrastructure and services.

For Ukraine's trading partners, many commodities now have to be sourced from further away. This has increased global vessel demand and the cost of shipping around the world.

Grains are of particular concern given the leading role of the Russian Federation and Ukraine in agri-food markets, and its nexus to food security and poverty reduction.

Grain prices and shipping costs have been on the rise since 2020, but the war in Ukraine has exacerbated this trend and reversed a temporary decline in shipping prices. Between February and May 2022, the price paid for the transport of dry bulk goods- such as grains- increased by nearly 60 per cent. The concomitant increase of grain prices and freight rates would lead to a nearly 4 per cent increase in consumer food prices globally. Almost half of this impact is due to higher shipping costs.