The reality of marine risk

In the last few months EMEA freight thefts alone amounted to more than £16 million, but there are many more supply chain threats than criminals.

At any given point in time, more than 6,000 vessels carrying containers are sailing the world’s seas and while fires and capsizes make international headlines, container losses overboard rarely do.

The numbers are relatively low. An average of 1,382 containers were lost at sea each year between 2008 and 2019.

From 2008 through 2010, container losses averaged 675 per year, then quadrupled to an average of 2,683 per year from 2011 through 2013.

There has been a downward trend in the most recent three-year period, from 2017 through 2019, when the annual loss fell to 779 containers.

The issue for shippers is that, even with proper packing of cargo, correct container weight declaration, and proper stowage and securing aboard ship, containers continue to be lost at sea, because of severe weather, structural failures or collision. 

Metro recommends All Risk marine insurance to protect you against all loss of cargo which includes piracy and theft. While you may have no control over what happens to your goods when they are in transit, you can protect yourself against a variety of negative events at sea, on the land and in the air

Major ship losses continued to decline last year, but smaller incidents are on the rise, alongside increased safety risks resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Asia was worst hit, with 14 large ship losses, which is put down to high levels of trade, busy shipping lanes, older fleets and typhoon exposure, while there were almost 200 reported fires on vessels over the past year, a 13% increase.

A spate of containership fires prompted renewed focus on verified gross mass (VGM) declarations recently, with carriers implementing new and higher surcharges for misdeclared cargo weights.

The carriers steps to increase fines may help, but if this persists, it could result in mandatory manual inspections or similar moves to protect against these types of issues, which could lead to unwelcome additional costs.

And concerns are growing about the potential safety risks from the crew change crisis, following the global coronavirus pandemic, as the impact on the welfare of sailors could lead to an increase in human error onboard vessels.

For further information on your marine insurance cover, to ensure that you have full liability, please contact your usual account manager.

Metro, and our partner carriers, have a limited liability cover, as per various T&C’s across the supply chain, but these invariably will not cover the value of product.

Let us reassure you with a quick discussion to ensure that you have full cover to minimise transit risk.