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Ship losses continue downward trend: Allianz

Ship losses continue downward trend: Allianz
Total ship losses totalled 94 vessels in 2013, a 20% reduction on 2012's figure, according to a report from Allianz Global, Corporate and Speciality (AGCS).

The number continues a downward trend in losses of ships over 100 gt, with the latest figure representing a 45% decrease on 2003.

Losses were focused in Asia for 2013, with South China, Indonesia and the Philippines accounting for 18 losses and Japan, Korea and North China recording 17 losses.

Over the past decade the South China, Indonesia and the Philippines area has accounted for 296 of 1,763 total losses worldwide, followed by the East Mediterranean and Black Sea with 215. Foundering accounts for 45% OF losses in the decade, and 73% of losses in 2013.

Harita Bauxite and Trans Summer were both lost last year while carrying nickel ore cargoes, with the loss of 15 lives on the Harita Bauxite. Liquefaction of cargoes is a particular threat to safety at sea, and one that has lead the IMO to introduce new voluntary practices that are set to become mandatory in 2015.

"While the IMO sets the regulation, each shipper must provide the information on the moisture content of the cargo." stated Jarek Klimczak, senior marine risk consultant at AGCS. "So the regulations are there, but, in some cases, they are not always applied in Indonesia due to instances of corruption and bureaucracy. While the quality carriers will refuse to carry this cargo and quality insurance companies will refuse to insure this cargo, some smaller owners may decide to do so."

The largest loss in the year was the MOL Comfort in June, and the Emma Maersk had a near miss when it suffered propeller damage and water ingress. The report highlighted the increased potential in risk, financial loss and the difficulty of salvaging large box ships should a mega ship, such as one of Maersk's triple-E class, succumb to disaster. Concerns were also raised around providing a place of refuge for such a large ship, should a problem arise and it need shelter.