Shipping losses fall but choppy water ahead

Data from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty shows there were 54 large ships lost worldwide in 2021, a reduction of 57% over the past decade. However, the number of reported shipping casualties or incidents rose. The British Isles saw the highest number – 668 out of 3,000.

Captain Rahul Khanna, global head of marine risk consulting at AGCS, said. “Total losses are at record lows – around 50 to 75 a year over the last four years compared with 200+ annually in the 1990s.

“However, the tragic situation in Ukraine has caused widespread disruption in the Black Sea and elsewhere, exacerbating ongoing supply chain, port congestion, and crew crisis issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the same time, some of the industry’s responses to the shipping boom, such as changing the use of, or extending the working life of, vessels also raise warning flags.

“Meanwhile, the increasing number of problems posed by large vessels, such as fires, groundings and complex salvage operations, continue to challenge ship owners and their crews.”

Justus Heinrich, global product leader, marine hull, at AGCS, added: “The insurance industry is likely to see a number of claims under specialist war policies from vessels damaged or lost to sea mines, rocket attacks and bombings in conflict zones.

“Insurers may also receive claims under marine war policies from vessels and cargo blocked or trapped in Ukrainian ports and coastal waters.”

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