Shipping Containers, Overboard! Pt 3 of 3

Shipping Containers, Overboard! Pt 3 of 3

9/5/2014 Umut Türker 2774 Times Read

A document prepared by the United Nations in 1994 did want to place the responsibility on Operators of Transport Terminals. However, just like the U.N.’s recommendations on human rights, it may not always be followed.


Even if this were followed and/or made more consistent, there may be legal loopholes. There is no legal status of containers in all cases and at all times. Are lost containers “wastes” or “wrecks”? Was the loss as a result of poor placement of the containers? Were they not fixed properly? There are so many questions and few accurate means of ascertaining the result.


The good news is that the article acknowledged that that, at any given time, there are nearly six million containers on ships at sea. Even if one container was lost overboard each hour then that is a statistically insignificant amount.


Even better news is that both the Wikipedia article on Containerization, and an extensive study done by the World Shipping Council states that the actual losses are no more than 675 containers per year, on average. This amounts to a statistically insignificant percentage.


The bad news is that there are still losses. Even if the company that lost money and cargo directly recovered money from insurance or from the party directly responsible for the loss there are still losses that need to be recouped. The shipping company that had to pay out USD3.25 million will need to recover it from other sources. If the shipping company did have insurance and if it was the insurance company that ultimately had to pay out the amount then they pass it on in the form of higher insurance premiums.


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