The World Shipping Council (WSC) has released its annual report on containers lost at sea, revealing positive developments in container safety within the international liner shipping industry.
Ensuring Safe Transport
Proper packing, stowage and securing of containers, and reporting of correct weight are key to the safety of a container ship, its crew, and its cargo, to shore-based workers and to the environment, the report highlights. The responsibility for container safety is shared across the supply chain, and every day liner carriers work with their partners to prevent incidents and ensure safe container transport. Key findings of the report are as follows:
- The WSC Containers Lost at Sea Report – 2023 Update reports that in 2022, 661 containers were lost at sea.
- This represents less than one thousandth of 1% (0.00026%) of the 250 million containers currently shipped each year, with cargo transported valued at more than $7 trillion.
- Reviewing the results of the total fifteen-year period surveyed (2008-2022), on average 1,566 containers were lost at sea each year.
- Average losses for the last three years was 2,301 containers per year (2020-2022).
The liner industry has been engaged in this safety effort over two decades, and working with our partners in the supply chain there has been quite some progress on the regulatory side, including in regard to:
- Amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention: On July 1, 2016, changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention requiring verification of container weights before packed containers may be loaded aboard ships went into effect.
- Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code): The IMO, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) produced a code of practice for the packing of CTU, including containers, outlining specific procedures and techniques to improve safety.
- In support of the IMO’s efforts to enhance container safety, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with the industry’s active participation, revised its standards regarding lashing equipment and corner castings and the new standards went into effect in 2015.
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