Research Output
Piracy defense strategies for shipping companies and ships: A mixed empirical approach
  Piracy attacks constitute a serious threat against which ships must be ready to defend themselves, particularly given the financial, political and logistical challenges involved in ensuring internationally coordinated protection. Yet, defense is highly challenging given the range of ship types, differing levels of government support, a constantly adapting pirate body, and pressures on costs and resources. Indeed, despite much guidance to deal with piracy, attacks continue unabated, and ships must defend themselves. To complement such guidance and suggest priorities for ship defense, this paper adopts a Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) and in-depth interviews to identify key strategic criteria against piracy attacks. Questionnaire responses were from 14 shipping operators and 7 academics. Subsequently, highly experienced government officials (n=3) and shipping operators (n=3) were interviewed to provide additional depth and perspectives. Results show key criteria are international conventions and policy, followed by defense strategies in perilous water areas, and ship's hardware and software. Regarding implementation, it is suggested shipping companies take ownership of any measures introduced, and outlined how they can do so. Also, managerial implications for shipping companies, governments, international bodies and researchers are outlined.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    23 May 2021

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • Funders:

    Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan


Tseng, P., Her, Z., & Pilcher, N. (2021). Piracy defense strategies for shipping companies and ships: A mixed empirical approach. Maritime Transport Research, 2,



Piracy, Shipping companies, Defense strategies, Fuzzy analytic hierarchy process, Interviews

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