In Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s annual “Safety at Sea” publication, the insurer noted that total losses continued a declining trend – down 16% compared with 2015 and down by 50% over the past decade.
In 2016 more than a quarter of losses – 23 — were in the South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines region. Foundering accounted for 87% of losses in the region. The only other geographical sectors to reach double figures were the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, with 12 losses, and Japan/Korea and North China, with 11 losses.
All figures are based on reported losses as of March 6th 2017. AGCS said that 2016 total losses might increase slightly, the average variance being the addition of three more losses.
The largest loss by far was the 81,152 gt New Mykonos, which ran aground on February 28th 2016 off Talagnaro, Madagascar, finally sinking on May 13th.
There were five other losses of more than 20,000 gt: Modern Express (33,831 gt, January 26th); Siteam Anja (28,027 gt, May 17th); Benita (24,953 gt, June 17th, sank July 30th); Hong Yuan 02 (23,734 gt, December 16th); and Qin Feng 219 (22,257 gt, July 7th).
For the past 10 years the South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines region topped the table with 249 losses, while Eastern Med and Black Sea was second with 162 losses. Of the 1,186 total losses, only Japan/Korea and North China were also in treble figures, with 139 losses.
AGCS observed that, although maritime safety had been improving in recent years, another cause of the benign loss environment was likely to be the economic downturn in shipping, leading to fewer voyages, slow steaming and an increasing number of vessels in lay-up. “Conversely, economic strains have led to cost-cutting in the sector, which could potentially have negative implications for maintenance, training, qualified personnel and, ultimately, loss activity in future”, said AGCS.
* Total losses are defined as actual total losses or constructive total losses recorded for vessels of 100 gt or over (excluding for example pleasure craft and smaller vessels), as at the time of the analysis.