Somali Pirates Could Grinch Your Christmas
Shipping companies may eschew Suez Canal for longer routes, meaning delays
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2008 2:49 PM CST
The crew of the hijacked merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck off the coast of Somalia Nov. 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Jason R. Zalasky)
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(Newser) – Attacks by Somali pirates have major shippers considering changing routes that run through the Suez Canal, Reuters reports, a move would add weeks to the time it takes ships to get to Europe from Asia and the Middle East. “It will really hit home when consumers in the West find they haven't got their Nintendo gifts this Christmas,” a trade-group rep said.

Recent attacks have been “200 miles-plus off the coast,” in the Gulf of Aden, he said, putting access to the Canal in jeopardy. The longer route, around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, also would add to shipping costs. The oil industry is taking note—some owners “are making a decision not to put their tankers in that direction,” a spokesman said.