Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Number of Freight Shipping Containers Lost at Sea Down

New Report from WSC Shows Substantial Decrease
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – The World Shipping Council (WSC) has released the latest update to its survey and estimate of containers lost at sea, which found a 48% drop in the three years since the previous report was published in 2014. While containers lost overboard represent a mere fraction of the roughly 130 million container loads shipped each year, the worldwide ocean freight industry has been actively supporting a number of efforts to enhance container safety that should help reduce the number of containers lost at sea.

Proper packing, stowage and securing of containers, and reporting of correct weight is vital to the safety of a container ship, her crew and cargo, to shore-based workers and equipment, and to the environment. Even with proper packing of the cargo into the container, correct container weight declaration, and proper stowage and securing aboard ship, a number of factors ranging from severe weather and rough seas to more catastrophic and rare events like ship groundings, structural failure and collisions can result in containers being lost at sea.

Based on information gathered from the members of the WSC operating in the container shipping market, which together represent 80% of the total global vessel container capacity, the WSC estimates that for the combined nine year period since the study began in 2008 to 2016, there were on average 568 containers lost at sea each year, not counting catastrophic events, and 1,582 containers lost at sea each year including catastrophic events. On average, 64% of containers lost during this period were attributed to a catastrophic event.

The most recent 2017 survey gathered input for 2014, 2015 and 2016. For each of the three years surveyed, the average number of containers lost at sea excluding catastrophic events was 612, about 16% less than the average of 733 units lost each year for the previous three year period. When catastrophic losses are included, the total containers lost at sea averaged 1,390 with 56% of those lost being attributed to catastrophic events. This is a 48% reduction from the average annual total losses of 2,683 estimated in 2014. John Butler, WSC President and CEO, said:

“Although the number of containers lost at sea represents a very small fraction of the number of containers carried on ships each year, the industry continuously strives to reduce those losses. The latest report shows that the average number of containers estimated to be lost each year is down from the estimates reported in 2014. This is an encouraging sign. The report also identifies initiatives the industry is actively supporting to increase container safety and reduce losses further.”