The study – “Maritime Safety 2012-2021: a decade of progress” concludes that decarbonisation and digitalisation both present new risks from alternative fuel technologies, such as fire and explosion risk, as well as data security issues resulting from more complex digital installations.
Safety statistics over the period are broadly positive, according to the analysis. Annual casualty statistics fell by 20%; ship losses resulting from casualties dropped by 56%; and the number of detentions had fallen by 60% by the end of 2020.
The figures are even more positive when seen against a backdrop of global fleet expansion over the period. The world fleet increased by 46% in cargo-carrying capacity and 16% in vessel numbers, according to the study, with the world’s fleet of ships over 100 gross tons now totalling more than 130,000 vessels compared with 116,000 in 2012.
However, the study’s findings are in marked contrast to reports from marine insurers who are increasingly concerned over the scale of major incidents. The number of claims may be going down, but the costs are going the other way, said one insurer. Container ship fires, possibly resulting from undeclared or mis-declared dangerous cargoes, and the dramatic increase in ship size are of particular concern.
In the mutual insurance sector, a number of P&I Clubs have imposed hefty general premium increases for 2022 renewals in February as a result of major claims payouts, while S&P Global Ratings has downgraded the credit ratings of a range of Clubs in the International Group.