Piracy in Northern Seas: A New Trend?

These are unpleasant days for the worldwide shipping trade. The global recession and tighter credit markets have sent the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of worldwide shipping prices for dry cargo, plummeting more than 430% from its May 2008 record, to a current level of 2,704. And U.S. ports are expected to see 17% less imported container traffic volume in the second half of 2009 compared with the prior year, according to IHS Global Insight's Port Tracker. Through June, acts of piracy had more than doubled from the same period last year—and pirates may no longer be confining their traditional zones to East Africa and the South China Sea, based on the experience of the Arctic Sea, the Russian freight vessel allegedly hijacked last month en route to Algeria.

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