Dockwise Threatens to Quit Dutch Flag

Dockwise Threatens to Quit Dutch Flag

Heavy-lift shipping company Dockwise warned today that it will transfer its Dutch-flagged ships to a different register unless the Netherlands allows it to hire private guards to fight pirates.

The company, which has a dual listing in Amsterdam and Oslo, said it is making an urgent appeal to the Dutch government to allow the use of armed security forces to protect its ships against pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

By the Numbers: U.S. Monthly Container Trade.

Dockwise said it eventually may be forced to sail its vessels under a different flag if restrictions are not eased “imminently.”

“As an oil and gas service provider, our vessels – which as a consequence of their specific nature have been labeled by experts to be very vulnerable to pirate attacks – have to enter pirate-infested waters most months of the year,” Dockwise CEO Andre Goedee said in a statement.

“At this point we are not allowed to protect our employees adequately against pirates, while other nations do allow for added security measures.”

“In the interest of our employees and because of the increasing pressure from the industry itself, we may be forced to seek other alternatives, such as bringing the vessels under a different jurisdiction and flag, if regulations are not adapted quickly,” Goedee said.

Dockwise operates a fleet of 19 semi-submersible vessels and recently placed a $240 million order for a ship with an 110,000 tons lift capacity that will be delivered by Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2012.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarndard47@hotmail.com.