Direct routing with guards on board?

Spirit SecurityOne of the potential benefits of carrying armed guards on board is the freedom it gives a vessel to choose whichever routing is the most optimal.

Combine the guards with a Risk Assesment of the anticipated┬ápirate activity as provided by companies such as Dryad ( and there would seem to be a compelling case for vessels to travel via ‘route one’?

However, many shipping companies are naturally cautious and still choose options that are seen as the safest: following the transit corridor, joining convoys and/or hugging coastlines such as India.

These do have their down sides: vessels have been taken shortly after leaving the corridor, delays waiting for a convoy can be costly, and no large commercial vessel wants to tangle with small fishing vessels operating just offshore.

Is this necessary? While we do not advocate putting the crew, vessel and the security team on board at risk the option to route direct is taken by some shipping companies and not others. They must believe that the benefits outweigh the potential risks?

Alan Taylor,
Commercial Director,
Spirit Security Services Ltd

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