Migrant Crisis Impacts International Shipping

Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital

The recent rise in unsafe transport of refugees from Syria and North Africa to Europe has begun to have a ripple effect in the international shipping industry. According to Philip Tinsley, maritime security manager at Baltic and International Maritime Council, there has been a sharp uptick in the number of accidents involving refugees at seas as well as subsequent rescue missions initiated by cargo ships.  Ship owners, operators, managers, brokers and agents, however, are bracing for additional delays in transit times and increased insurance premiums.

International conventions stipulate that any ship deemed able is required to provide assistance to a vessel in distress. Cargo ships are often the first to respond.

Vessels carrying refugees are frequently overcrowded and often require assistance along the way. Although the European Union has begun patrolling in the Mediterranean, Tinsley insists that it isn’t enough.

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