Boycott Call

Jan Hammer, chief executive of Odfjell Tankers, (which has 95 chemical tankers), has called for a boycott of the Suez Canal.

An action they believe would force intervention in Somalia to crush piracy by forcing up oil and commodity prices. The call, which has yet to receive widespread support from other shipowners, raised the possibility that owners and crews could join hands in demanding more action against pirates.

“The only way the politicians will be forced to take action is if we agree to stay out of the Gulf of Aden, meaning we wouldn’t go through the Suez Canal,” said Mr Hammer.

While there is little public support among shippers, it is believed that many express private support for no-sail zones but fear banding together could violate anti-competition laws.

Mr Hammer also believes that shippers should also consider shunning the Persian Gulf, source of 40 percent of the world’s oil transported by ship. When asked about the effect of the naval presence in the high risk area, he said today’s international naval presence off the Horn of Africa would have to grow 700 percent to truly scare pirates.

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