The World Shipping Council has estimated that on average, a total of 1,382 containers are lost at sea each year.
This is according to a report by the global shipping body titled ‘Containers lost at sea – 2020 update’.
The report listed events such as severe weather, rough seas, ship groundings and structural failures as some of the problems which can result in containers being lost at sea.
It said, “Upon review of the results of the 12-year period (2008-2019) surveyed, the WSC estimates that there were on average a total of 1,382 containers lost at sea each year.
“With 12 years of data, it is particularly interesting to look at the trend of three-year averages, reported in each of the survey updates.
“In the first period (2008-2010), total losses averaged 675 per year and then quadrupled to an average of 2,683 per year in the next period (2011-2013).
“This was due in large part to the sinking of the MOL Comfort (2013) that resulted in a loss of 4,293 containers and further impacted by the grounding and loss of M/V Rena (2011) resulting in approximately 900 containers lost.
“Nevertheless, the next period (2014-2016) was marked by another vessel sinking with the tragic total loss of the SS El Faro (2015) with the loss of 33 crew members and 517 containers.
“Even with that, the three-year average annual loss for the period was 1,390, about half of the previous period. The downward trend continued into the most recent period (2017-2019) when the three-year average annual loss was almost halved again to 779.”