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Primary Security Risks at Sea for Freight Carrier Ships

Look at the open sea from the port side and you don't necessarily perceive any threats beyond natural problems that can arise with weather or tides. However, lurking out on the sea are security threats for your freight-carrier ship just the same as if you had a stationary business building. Anticipating the threats you could run into during business operations is important.

As the owner of a large ship that serves as your business property, you should get familiar with perceived risks and what levels of security to implement into your shipping operation. Take a look at some of the primary security risks you could run into on the open water as the owner of a cargo or freight shipping company.

Sea-Related Piracy ​

Piracy and robbery at sea are two major threats to cargo ships, and unfortunately, these acts take place a lot more than they used to. Theft for monetary gain is the primary driver behind pirate attacks on the sea. Therefore, because your ship carries loads of expensive cargo, it can automatically be a prime target to thieves who are watching and waiting for an opportunity.

Security systems on a freight-transporting ship are designed to combat piracy at sea in multiple ways. These systems secure open cargo areas and activate alarms so if someone does make their way on deck, you know about it and the intruder may be scared off. The systems can also send out automated alerts if a piracy incident has occurred near your ship's location.

Integrated security cameras for surveillance are also an important part of maritime security systems. Proper video surveillance gives crew members an around-the-clock look at what is taking place on and around the ship at different points of the day, whether they are in their sleeping quarters or out on the upper decks.

Ship Fires​

Lightning strikes, fuel leaks, electrical problems — all of these are examples of causes for ship fires. While on the sea, a fire on the ship can be all-out devastating, leaving you with damaged equipment and potentially injured employees. Cargo or container ship fires are so common that a fire incident occurs about once every 60 days.

The best maritime security systems are designed to automatically send out requests for emergency response teams and ships in the area in the event of a fire on your ship. Because alerts are automatically issued from the security system, a fire is less likely to leave you and the people on your cargo ship completely stranded and relying only on emergency flotation devices.

Compromised Cybersecurity

Because the age of technology has etched its way into just about every type of business, it is now an integral part of many cargo and sea-shipping operations. Many ships have their own data servers on deck, and some have really complex computer systems. Cybersecurity on vessels in the shipping industry is a huge concern.

A maritime cybersecurity survey performed in 2017 of 284 people showed that 34 percent of those people had experienced some level of compromised cybersecurity. While many of these breaches were simple phishing and ransomware incidents, cybersecurity threats are still a huge and worrisome problem.

The risks to carrier ships on the sea are much broader and intimidating than a lot of carrier ship owners realize. Therefore, implementing a good security system and being proactive about ship security is critical.

If you need help with maritime security, reach out to our experienced team at Security Services Northwest, Inc. for shipyard security, alarm and surveillance systems, boat patrols, and other services. We can help you protect your cargo and your crew.

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