Boxes lost at sea insignificant if total ship losses are removed

  Jul 18--THE numbers of container lost at sea continue to shrink and represent only one 1,000th of one per cent of the 130 million TEU shipped each year, according to a World Shipping Council (WSC) survey.

  Making the WSC findings even less significant is the finding that 64 per cent of containers lost at sea in the last decade are the result of catastrophic incidents, each defined as the loss of 50 containers, through storm, ship sinkings, collisions, groundings or acts of piracy.

  In 2013, there was a total loss of 5,578 containers - 77 per cent of which occurred because of the sinking of the 8,110-TEU MOL Comfort (90,613 dwt) in the Indian Ocean, the worst box ship loss in history.

  The total loss of the 14,977-dwt El Faro occurred two years later in 2015. All the El Faro containers were lost and this alone accounted for 43 per cent of the boxes lost at sea in 2015.

  From 2008 to 2016, WSC estimates an annual average loss of 568 containers at sea per year, not counting catastrophic events. On average, 1,582 containers are lost at sea each year including catastrophic events.

  For each of the three years surveyed, 2014, 2015 and 2016, containers lost at sea 16 per cent to 612 - fewer than the loss for previous three-year period.

  But when catastrophic losses are included, the total loss averages at 1,390 with 56 per cent attributed to catastrophic events.

  This is a 48 per cent reduction from the average annual total losses of 2,683 estimated in 2014, said the report.

  The sinking of the 1,181-TEU MOL Comfort in the Indian Ocean resulted in the loss of all of its 4,293 containers - the worst containership loss in history. Also in 2011, there was the grounding and loss of the 3,351-TEU Rena off New Zealand, which resulted in the overboard loss 900 containers.


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