Despite several high profile incidents recently, a new survey of the container shipping industry by the World Shipping Council (WSC) reports that the incidents of containers lost overboard has been on the decline and is a small percentage of the total annual volume. The WSC also outlines a number of initiatives to further enhance container safety.
Containers lost overboard represent less than one-thousandth of one percent of the roughly 226 million containers transporting $4 trillion in cargo currently shipped each year according to the WSC. Looking at data for the past 12 years contributed by shippers that represent approximately 80 percent of the industry, and extrapolating it to represent all shipping, the WSC reports that the three-year moving average is declining, halved to an average annual loss of 779 containers lost overboard between 2017 and 2019.
The WSC concludes based on data from the past 12 years that half of all containers lost at sea are attributed to a limited number of major incidents that have occurred during those years. Some carriers reported no lost containers while others noted significant incidents where hundreds of containers were lost in a single accident. With more than 6,000 ships around the world carrying containers at any point in time, the WSC previously distinguished catastrophic losses as 50 or more containers lost in a single incident. However, the 2020 data no longer differentiates catastrophic losses.
In the period between 2008 and 2019, the WSC estimates that there were on average a total of 1,382 containers lost at sea each year. The lowest point was between 2008 and 2010 with an average of 675 losses per year, quadrupling to an average of 2,683 between 2011 and 2013, declining to an average of 1,390 between 2014 and 2016 and again down to an average of 779 between 2017 and 2019. The numbers were however impacted by several significant losses, including 900 containers on the Rena (2011), 4,293 containers on the MOL Comfort (2013), 517 containers on the El Faro (2015), and a few incidents in 2018 and 2019 that each lost more than 100 containers.
Summary of containers lost at sea – World Shipping Council
Recognizes that all containers lost at sea represent safety and environmental hazards regardless of how and when those containers were lost, the WSC points to efforts between government and other stakeholders to enhance container safety. Among these, they highlight the 2016 changes to the SOLAS convention that require verification of container weights before packed containers may be loaded aboard ships. The WSC also anticipates efforts to further revise and enhance the 2014 code of practice for packing of cargo transport units as well as future revisions to the 2015 ISO standards for container lashing equipment and corner casting.
The WSC repeats a proposal it made to the IMO in 2019 to align container stacking requirements to eliminate discrepancies that might have significant safety implications. It says that those discrepancies might contribute to the potential for the collapse of container stacks and container loss at sea.
At the same, the WSC is also participating in efforts to revise the IMO guidelines for the inspection programs for cargo transport units including containers, and is also co-sponsoring with the European Union a proposal to the IMO for mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea.
The World Shipping Council concludes the survey report saying that carriers will continue to explore and implement preventive and realistic measures to bring container losses as close to zero as possible and welcome continued cooperation from governments and other stakeholders to accomplish this goal.
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]