Twelve months on from the Costa Concordia incident, a new Allianz report identifies that 106 ship losses were reported worldwide in the 12 months to November 25 2012 - up from 91 ships the previous year but a 27 percent decrease on the ten year average of 146 ships per annum. Despite this long term downward trend, driven by technology, training and regulation and a proactive response from the shipping industry to safety improvement, human error remains the core challenge.
In its annual ‘Safety and Shipping Review’ of maritime losses, marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) highlights developments in shipping safety during 2012. The year was marked by two high profile accidents with the loss of the Costa Concordia off Italy on January 13th (the largest loss of the year at 114,137 gross tons) followed by that of the ferry, Rabaul Queen, off Papua New Guinea on February 2nd, both causing multiple fatalities.
According to the report, foundering (sinking or submerging) was the most common cause of losses in the past year (49 percent) followed by wrecking or running aground (22 percent). Collisions such as that involving the Baltic Ace and Corvus J in early December 2012 accounted for a relatively small number of losses (6 percent).
With 30 losses reported, twice as many shipping accidents centered on the seas around South China, Indo China, Indonesia and the Philippines. Shipping losses also occurred more often in the East Mediterranean and the Black Sea (15 losses in 2012) or around Japan, Korea and North China (10 losses).