IMO meeting focuses on containers lost at sea

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Containers lost at sea will be high on the agenda of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meeting, according to Bimco.

The focus on containers lost at sea comes after a spike in lost container events, with reports of up to 3,500 containers lost in four incidents in the Pacific Ocean since December 2020, compared to a global average number of around 1,400 containers lost at sea per year.

Bimco said that contributing factors to those incidents could include differences between declared and actual container weights, and parametric rolling. “However, it appears that no single factor caused the incidents, but rather that several factors may have contributed. The incident investigation reports have yet to be finalised, setting out the detailed root causes,” it added.

Containers floating in the water pose a threating to vessels and lost containers in any location are a threat to the environment.

“During MSC 103, the IMO will consider measures regarding the detection and mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea that may enhance the positioning, tracking and recovery of such containers,” Bimco said.

The association stressed the importance of preventing the loss of containers as well as reporting lost containers.

“To restore fidelity in the safety of container transport with the present fleet and provide the technical understanding that is needed for safe operation, other areas of interest, like weather routing, the ship’s design and its propulsion, as well as the lashing of the containers should be considered too,” said Bimco.

IMO MSC 103 runs from May 5 - 14, Bimco said it will release an update after the meeting.

TAGS: Casualty
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