41 large ships are lost worldwide in 2019

According to marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s (AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2020, in 2019, 41 total losses of vessels were reported around the world, down from 53 one year earlier, a reduction by more than 20% year-on-year.

This represents an approximate 70% decline over 10 years and is a result of sustained efforts in the areas of regulation, training and technological advancement, among others. More than 950 shipping losses have been reported since the start of 2010.  The annual AGCS study analyzes reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons (GT).

According to the report, the South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region remains the top loss location with 12 vessels in 2019 and 228 vessels over the past decade – one in four of all losses. 

High levels of trade, busy shipping lanes, older fleets, typhoon exposure, and safety issues on some domestic ferry routes are contributing factors. However, in 2019, losses declined for the second successive year. The Gulf of Mexico (4) and the West African Coast (3) rank second and third.

Cargo ships (15) accounted for more than a third of vessels lost in the past year, while foundered (sunk/submerged) was the main cause of all total losses, accounting for three in four (31). Bad weather accounted for one in five losses. Issues with car carriers and roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels remain among the biggest safety issues. Total losses involving ro-ros are up year-on-year, as well as smaller incidents (up by 20%), a trend continuing through 2020.

“The rise in number and severity of claims on ro-ro vessels is concerning. Ro-ros can be more exposed to fire and stability issues than other vessels,” says Captain Rahul Khanna, Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting at AGCS. 

“Many have quick turnarounds in port and a number of accident investigations have revealed that pre-sail away stability checks were either not carried out as required, or were based on inaccurate cargo information. Too many times commercial considerations have endangered vessels and crews and it is vital that this is addressed on shore and on board.”

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