Fleet losses reach 700 over the past decade

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Global shipping fleet suffers severe decline over past decade

Allianz Commercial’s Safety and Shipping Review 2024 has revealed that the global shipping fleet has suffered a decline of 70 per cent over the past decade.

According to Allianz, during 2023, 26 total losses were reported globally compared with 41 a year earlier. There have been more than 700 total losses reported over the past decade.

The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and the Philippines maritime region is the global loss hotspot, both over the past year and decade.

It accounted for almost a third of vessels lost last year. The East Mediterranean and Black Sea ranks second with activity up year-on-year.

READ: Red Sea crisis sparks surge in Asia-Mediterranean transit times

Cargo ships accounted for more than 60 per cent of global vessel losses in 2023. Foundered was the leading cause of overall losses, accounting for 50 per cent.

Allianz estimated that extreme weather played a factor in at least eight vessel losses globally in 2023, with the final tally probably higher.

The number of maritime incidents recorded globally decreased significantly last year (2,951 vs. 3,036), with the British Isles having the greatest number.

Attacks on vessels in Middle Eastern seas have reduced Suez Canal transits by almost 40 per cent at the start of 2024, affecting commerce.

Whatever alternative routes vessels choose, they suffer lengthy detours and greater expenses, which affect their consumers.

Avoiding the Suez Canal adds at least 3,000 nautical miles (about 5,500 kilometres) and 10 days of sailing time, rerouting via the Cape of Good Hope.

Captain Rahul Khanna, Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting, Allianz Commercial, said: “Piracy is on the rise, with a worrying re-emergence off the Horn of Africa.

The ongoing disruption caused by drought in the Panama Canal shows how the changing climate is affecting shipping, all at a time when it is having to undertake its most significant challenge, decarbonisation.”

In January, Sea-Intelligence predicted that maritime companies’ CO2 emissions would rise as a result of the ongoing Red Sea crisis.

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