New Allianz review reveals the lowest shipping losses this century

In 2018, the maritime industry saw the number of total shipping losses of vessels over 100GT falling significantly to 46, representing the lowest total this century, said Allianz in its new Shipping and Safety review 2019. To put it into context, there were 207 total losses reported in 2000. Cargo vessels were the ship type involved in a third of losses (15) during 2018.

Key points

Shipping losses declined by a record level of more than 50% year-on-year from 98 in 2017, driven by a significant fall in hotspots around the world and weather-related losses halving after a quieter year of hurricane and typhoon activity.

The 2018 loss year is exceptional compared with the rolling 10-year loss average of 104 (down by 55%).

Meanwhile, since 2009, (132), shipping losses have declined by 65%.

The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region remains the major loss location over the past decade, accounting for 26% of all losses over the past year globally (12).

However, this represents a significant fall year-on-year (29 in 2017) and is the first time the region has seen losses decline in four years.

The East Mediterranean and Black Sea region (6) is the second most frequent loss location.

Cargo vessels (15) were involved in a third of losses during 2018, driven by activity in the top loss hotspots globally.

Sinking has been the cause of over half of all vessel losses (53%) over the past decade and was the primary cause of 65% of losses (30) in 2018.

Ship sinking/ collision incidents are the most expensive cause of loss for insurers, accounting for 16% of the value of all claims – equivalent to more than $1.5bn.

While the number of losses has fallen significantly over the past year in particular, the number of shipping casualties or incidents (2,698) remains challenging, declining by less than 1%.

The East Mediterranean and Black Sea is the top incident hotspot, accounting for one in five incidents globally.

Activity is up in this region year-on-year, driven by machinery damage/failure incidents, which is also the top cause of shipping incidents globally, accounting for 40% (1,079).

Of the 26,000+ reported shipping incidents over the past decade, more than a third (8,862) have been caused by machinery damage or failure – over twice as many as the next highest cause. Such incidents have increased by a third over the past decade and costs are rising as well.

Improved ship design and technology, stepped-up regulation and advances in risk management and safety are driving the sector’s longterm loss improvement. More robust safety management systems and procedures on vessels is also a factor in preventing breakdowns, accidents and other mistakes from escalating into total losses.

Click to download the Allianz Review in full: Allianz-Safety-and-Shipping-Review-2019

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