Ports in South Africa stand to benefit from the present insecurity in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean as shipping companies consider rerouting their vessels around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the risk of pirate attacks, the National Ports Authority (NPA) has said. Currently most ships travelling between Europe and Asia pass through the Suez canal and the Red Sea. However, a recent spate of incidents including the seizure of the Saudi Arabian supertanker MV Sirius Star by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya have forced several companies to begin using the longer route around Africa, helped partly by the recent fall in the price of crude oil.

However the NPA is not expecting a massive influx of ships or the congestion seen in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the Suez canal was closed due to conflict in the Middle East.

There have been 92 attacks by Somali pirates this year according to the International Maritime Bureau. Most of the attacks are staged out of Somalia