Safety and Shipping 2020 Review In Numbers

Shipping losses lowest this century, but incident numbers remain high

  • Safety & Shipping Review 2019: 46 large ships lost worldwide in 2018, down by a record 50% annually and 55% below the 10-year average of 104.
  • Total losses significantly fell in accident hotspots such as South East Asia. Weather losses halved due to quieter storm year.
  • Number of shipping incidents is stable. Machinery damage is the major cause, responsible for US $1bn worth of marine insurance industry claims in five years.
  • Number of reported shipping casualties or incidents actually increased by 5% to 2,815.

Large shipping losses are now at their lowest level this century having went down by over 50% year on year, consistent with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS)
Safety & Shipping Review 2019. The annual study analyzes and reports shipping losses over 100 gross tons (GT).

In 2019, 46 total losses of vessels
were reported round the shipping world, down from 98 opose to 12 months earlier, driven by a big decline in activity within the global loss hotspot, South East Asia, and weather-related losses (10) halving after quieter hurricane and typhoon seasons.

While this plummet in total losses is encouraging, the amount of reported shipping incidents overall (2,698 in 2019) shows little decline – but 1% year-on-year. Machinery damage is now the major cause, accounting for quite a 3rd of the 26,000+ incidents over the past decade – twice as many because the next highest cause, collision. Machinery damage is one among the foremost expensive causes of marine insurance claims, accounting for US $1bn+ in five years.

“Today’s record low of total loss activity is certainly influenced by fortunate circumstances in 2019, but it also underlines the culmination of the long-term improvement of safety within the global shipping industry,” says Baptiste Ossena, Global Product Leader Hull & Marine Liabilities, AGCS.

“Improved and repaired ship design, technology, tighter regulation and more robust and reliable safety management systems on vessels have also helped to stop breakdowns and accidents from turning into major losses. However, the shortage of an overall fall in shipping incidents, brings along with it a heightened political risks to vessel security, complying with 2020 emissions rules and therefore the growing number of fires on board bring challenges.”

Worst accident locations and customary causes of loss.
The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region remains the highest loss location. One in four occurred here in 2018 (12), although this is often significantly down from 29 a year earlier. The East Mediterranean and Black Sea (6) and therefore the British Isles (4) rank second and third. Despite signs of improvement, Asia will remain a hotspot for marine claims thanks to its high level of trade, busy shipping routes and older fleets. However, newer infrastructure, better port operations and more up-to-date navigation tools will help to deal with challenges.

Cargo ships (15) accounted for a 3rd of vessels lost round the world within the past year. the foremost common explanation for ship losses remains foundering (sinking), which has accounted for over half (551) of the 1,036 lost over the past decade. In 2018, 30 cases were reported.

Fires still generate large losses on board with the amount of reported incidents (174) trending upwards. This has continued through 2019 with variety of
recent problems on container ships and three significant events on car carriers. Misdeclared cargo, including incorrect labelling/packaging of dangerous goods is believed to be behind variety of fires stumped . On board fire-fighting capability are often limited. If considerable outside assistance is required significant damage can occur to the ship before this happens, greatly increasing the dimensions of any salvage claim. Meanwhile, the loss of many containers over board from a big vesels vessel in early 2019 provides us with a reminder that damaged goods is that the most frequent generator of marine insurance claims, is responsible for one in five over five years.

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