Declining trend in the number of containers lost at sea reveals World Shipping Council survey

World Shipping Council report shows a decline in the number of containers lost at sea
World Shipping Council report shows a decline in the number of containers lost at sea

The global container shipping industry continues to see a declining trend in the number of containers lost at sea each year. The World Shipping Council has published its latest survey giving its best estimate on the number of actual containers lost at sea.

World Shipping Council undertook the first survey of its member companies in 2011 with subsequent updates published in 2014 and 2017. Having reviewed the evidence over the twelve-year period surveyed, the survey shows an estimate that there were on average a total of 1,382 containers lost each year.

The conclusion after twelve years is that more than half of all containers lost can be attributed to the limited number of high profile disasters, including MOL Comfort (4,293 lost), SS El Faro (517 containers lost) and MV Rena (900 lost). For the three year period ending in 2019, the average number of containers lost annually fell to 779.

According to the World Shipping Council, the number of containers lost overboard represents less than one-thousandth of 1 percent of the roughly 226 million containers carrying $4 trillion worth of cargo transported by ships in 2019. However, the industry still recognizes that all containers lost at sea represent safety and environmental hazards regardless of how and when those containers were lost.

“The industry is encouraged by the declining trend line indicated in the latest report and continues to work on solutions that will bring the number of containers lost each year to as close to zero as possible,” said John Butler, World Shipping Council President and CEO.

Read the survey findings and report at: Containers_Lost_at_Sea_2020

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