Facts + Statistics: Marine Accidents

On March 23, 2021 the Ever Given container ship, one of the world’s largest container ships, operated by the Evergreen Marine Corporation became stuck in the Suez Canal, causing a six-day blockage. The Suez Canal Authority impounded the ship after it was freed and sought about $600 million in damages, caused by blocking the canal. While the final total of losses from the blockage have not yet been tallied, data from Lloyd’s list pegged the daily toll from the blockage at $9.6 billion a day.

There were 41 large ships totally lost in 2019, down by 23 percent from 53 in 2018, according to latest data from Allianz. Safety & Shipping Review 2020 reports that the 2019 total was the lowest in the past 19 years down almost 70 percent over the past 10 years. Despite the improvement, shipping incidents, at 2,815, is up 5 percent from 2,688 a year ago. Alianz cites rising geopolitical tensions, emissions rules and de-carbonization targets, mis-declared cargo and fire incidents as important risk challenges.

The region encompassing South China, Indochina, Indonesia and the Philippines had the largest number of shipping losses in 2019 with a total of 12, or almost one-third of the 41 losses that year. The region has ranked first in shipping losses over the past decade.

Global Shipping Losses By Number Of Vessels, 2010-2019 (1)

 

Year Losses
2010 130
2011 98
2012 129
2013 111
2014 90
2015 105
2016 99
2017 95
2018 53
2019 41

(1) Total losses, vessels over 100 gross tons.

Source: Lloyd’s List Intelligence Casualty Statistics; Safety and Shipping Review 2020, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. Copyright © 2020.

Global Shipping Losses By Number Of Vessels By Region, 2010-2019 (1)

 

Region 2010-2019 2019
S. China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines 228 12
Baltic 137 1
Japan, Korea and N. China 104 2
British Isles, N. Sea, Eng. Channel and Bay of Biscay 70 2
Arabian Gulf and approaches 49 0
West African Coast 39 3
West Mediterranean 38 0
East African Coast 30 0
Bay of Bengal 26 2
Russian Arctic and Bering Sea 23 0
All other regions 207 19
Total world 951 41

(1) Total losses, vessels over 100 gross tons.

Source: Lloyd’s List Intelligence Casualty Statistics; Safety and Shipping Review 2020, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. Copyright © 2020.

According to the latest year of maritime loss data from Swiss Re, marine accidents killed 1,163 people and caused $197 million in insured losses in 2017. The deadliest maritime disaster occurred in January when a passenger ferry sank, killing 88 people off Nonouti, an atoll in Kirbati in the Pacific Ocean, between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. A boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Zawiyah, killing 74 people. In 2012, 30 people were killed in the costliest man-made disaster of that year when the Costa Concordia cruise ship carrying 4,200 passengers went aground off the coast of Italy, causing $515 million in insured damages losses when it occurred. By mid-2014, insured losses for the disaster had risen to about $2 billion. The greatest maritime disaster in peacetime happened in December 1987, when the Philippine ferry, the Doa Paz, collided with the Vector, a small coastal oil tanker, according to the National Maritime Museum in the United Kingdom. Only 24 of the 4,317 Doa passengers survived. By contrast, 1,500 perished in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Marine Disasters, 2017 (1)

Category Number of events Victims Insured losses ($ millions)
Drilling platforms 1 0 90
Freighters 2 22 75
Tankers 1 0 32
Passenger ships 27 1,087 0
Other maritime accidents 2 54 0
Total 33 1,163 $197

(1) Based on events classified by Swiss Re as a catastrophe. The threshold for a maritime disaster is $20.3 million in insured losses or total losses of $99.0 million; or at least 20 dead or missing, 50 injured or 2,000 made homeless.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 1/2018.

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Passenger Ship Losses, 2008-2017 (1)

Year Number Victims Insured losses ($ millions)
2008 32 1,553 $31
2009 35 2,146 NA
2010 22 1,058 27
2011 29 1,873 NA
2012 26 1,679 719
2013 16 1,079 20
2014 28 2,000 231
2015 20 2,259 65
2016 19 1,530 0
2017 27 1,087 0

(1) Based on events classified by Swiss Re as a catastrophe. The threshold was $17.4 million in insured losses or at least 20 dead or missing, 50 injured or 2,000 made homeless from 2008 to 2011; $18.3 million in insured losses in 2012; $19.3 million in 2013; $19.6 million in 2014; $19.7 million in 2015; $19.9 million in 2016 and $20.3 million in 2017.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 2/2012, 2/2013, 1/2014/, 2/2015, 1/2016, 2/2017, 1/2018.

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