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The Anti-Piracy Revolution

January 11th 2016
Using Innovation as a Means of Protection


All of us that are acquainted with the shipping industry know all too well that piracy is not the fantastical tale of lovable rouges swinging ship to ship by a rope, drinking rum with the occasional walk the plank.  We know the reality that involves the torture, imprisonment and murder of our seafarers.  We know how that can breed a culture of fear in the workplace and the effect that can have on our staff.  We know the effect extortion has on our business and how all this can effect our reputation.


To mitigate against piracy has cost us valuable resource, and let’s be honest because of the recent decline in the success of Somali Piracy we are maybe starting to think that the threat is not really worth the cost, that we can maybe relax our security stance and save a little bit of money, am I right?


Well let’s take a minute to look at the current situation; yes Somali piracy has seen a significant reduction that can be attributed to many factors including the Naval Coalition (that is apparently set for a large reduction this year) and armed guards.  We know that armed guards are very expensive and in an attempt to remain competitive a lot of PMSC are deploying vastly under qualified personnel; a security risk on its own.


Mirrored with the decline in activity off the coast of Somalia, SE Asia has become the most pirated waters in the world with CNBC reporting an average rise of 25% in hijackings and armed robbery per year.


To begin to make sense of the situation of the West coast of Africa is somewhat a minefield itself with its high level of corruption and the vast majority of incidents going unreported.  All these problems, with so many variables and the colossal burden of financial budgets, can make being a CSO an unenviable task.


So what is the solution?  Again there is no definitive answer to that question, but what is certain is the requirement for change in the way that we view and approach a sustainable solution and the answer to that is innovation.  Innovation does mean change, and not everyone is comfortable with change, at least not the unexpected kind.  But what if it was the type of change that you can be involved in, even credited with?  The type that could save lives, time and money.


Speaking as someone who has been on the front line of shipping as an armed guard I have seen that a lack of dynamic decision-making can be detrimental to operations and more importantly safety.  The cost of new ideas and new technology is always going to be a factor initially, especially for those who struggle to see the long-term benefits.  But other industries such as the IT and the security sectors have embraced change, anticipated it rather than reacted to it, and are now seeing a healthy return on their investment.


Innovation is the founding principle on which ARX Defence has grown; all you have to do is look at our product set to see that, everything from big data analytics to arguably the worlds most secure ID system and to a product that is set to revolutionise maritime security.   We truly believe that to be effective we need to constantly challenge the perceived norm and question how we can make it better, more efficient, more sustainable and consequently providing that all-important value add.


ARX Defence have developed a barrier that will defeat a pirate’s ladder or climbing pole and costs less than razor wire.  The ABaC system (Anti-Boarding and Climbing) is set to help CSOs face the challenges that the ever-evolving threat of piracy brings.  This unique patent pending system is a lightweight modular plastic barrier that simply installs onto the guardrail in under one minute.  It does not require any hot works or on-sight cutting.  It’s easy to move around and stack meaning that the crew can quickly remove and store sections for cargo operations.  Having been designed with a world-renowned naval architect we can honestly say that the ABaC is not only built to last, it’s built to face the challenges that the unpredictable future holds, leaving shipping companies and seafarers to do what they do best and keep the world’s economy sailing.


To learn more about ARX Defence and how we can help you with the challenges you face today and in the future please get in touch.


Article written by Steve Regis, Managing Director of Arx Defence.