Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Bigger Container Ships Pose Bigger Risks
Insurers, Others Worry About the Potential for Catastrophic Accidents
Large container ships plying the trade routes of the world are growing, keeping the cost of shipping, but also raising concerns among ship operators, insurers and regulators on the risk of catastrophic accidents .Ships designed to carry cargo stored in large metal containers, carry a lot of goods by sea in the world, including manufactured goods and, increasingly, farm products.
Their increasing size is already straining the resources in some unloading port facilities and work-with disorders contributed to congestion in major ports on the West Coast.Since the economic downturn, shipping companies have sought to remain competitive by running larger, more ships fuel container in major waterways, reduce their cost per container, according Christmas Hacegaba, Acting Deputy Director of the Port of Long Beach, California.
Today, the newest and largest container ships can transport capacity benchmark, but about 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units Industry Dr Hacegaba said in a study last year that observers of industry also expect large vessels 22 000 TEU to enter service in 2018, and that ships of 24,000 TEUs are on the drawing board.Larger vessels will further test the ability of ports and canals and the skill of their captains and crews.
"There is a global shortage of qualified seafarers to order these ships," said Andrew Kinsey, senior consultant in maritime risks at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty unit of insurer Allianz SE and the master of a retired ship . Capt. Kinsey said that human error is a factor in most boating accidents.Although there were fewer accidents in recent years, the cost has increased. Ship groundings topped the list of insured losses 2009-2013, put forward fire, plane crashes and earthquakes, according to Allianz.
"Cost reduction measures such as reducing the number of crew, overwork and lack of training" aggravated risks, and could contribute to a transport accident, said Jonathan Moss, partner and head of transportation in law firm DWF in London.
A major contributor to recent losses was the wreckage $ 2 billion subsequent efforts to save the Costa Concordia cruise that ran aground in Italian waters in 2012.The prospect of a similar incident involving a container ship, which could carry 18,000 containers, "is one of our nightmares at the moment," said Capt. Rahul Khanna, another marine consultant Allianz risk.
Capt. Khanna cited estimates by rescue operators that could take two years just to remove the containers of such a large ship, assuming it were possible at all.Even relatively small container ships can cause big problems.
Environmental Review Tribunal of New Zealand received a request by the owner and the insurer of the MV Rena, a container ship of less than 4,000 TEUs, to abandon part of the wrecked vessel on Astrolabe Reef of the country, where it ran aground in 2011.