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Shipping losses down 65%

Christian Fernsby |
The international shipping industry is responsible for around 90% of world trade.


There are around 60,000 merchant ships, transporting every kind of cargo.

The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers, meaning the safety of vessels is critical.

The maritime industry saw the number of total shipping losses of vessels over 100GT plummet during 2018 to 46 – the lowest total this century.

To put this into context there were 207 total losses reported in 2000.

The figures are published by the Safety and Shipping Review from Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS) incorporating the statistics from the past 10 years

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, over the past decade, shipping losses have declined by 65%.

Improved ship design and technology, stepped-up regulation and advances in risk management and safety are driving the sector’s long-term 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.

The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region remains the major loss location over the past decade.

More than a quarter (26%) of all losses over the past year globally occurred here.

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, reflecting the fact that Asia-based international shipping operations are typically well run and have claims frequency rates on a par with European counterparts.


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