The World Shipping Council (WSC) has released its annual report on containers lost at sea for the year 2022, showing that 661 containers were lost overboard during the year.
This represents less than one thousandth of 1 per cent (0.00026 per cent) 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. The recent report therefore reflects positive developments in container safety within the international liner shipping industry. According to WSC, proper packing, stowage and securing of containers, and reporting of correct weight are key to the safety of a container ship’s crew and cargo, shore-based workers, and to the environment.
“The reduction in containers lost at sea in 2022 is positive news, but there is no time for complacency,” said John Butler, President and CEO of the WSC.
“Every container lost at sea will always be one too many and we will continue with our efforts to make the sea a safer place to work, and to protect the environment and cargo by reducing the number of containers lost at sea,” Butler added.
WSC further stated: “The liner shipping industry works continuously to further enhance container safety, partnering with governments and other stakeholders to reduce the number of containers lost at sea.”
WSC along with several other member lines and a range of maritime stakeholder started the MARIN Top Tier project in 2021. The project’s goal is to investigate the factors that contribute to container losses and to provide solutions to prevent further incidents. In January 2023, a large container feeder lost stability and tipped on its side at a private jetty on DP World’s MICT Terminal at Mundra Port, losing approximately 20 containers.