Total Losses 2006-2015: When and where in the world?


Loss spikes all year round: Loss activity differs markedly around the globe, depending on time of year, analysis of 10 years of reported total losses shows. January is the worst month for losses in the British Isles, North Sea, English Channel, Bay of Biscay region accounting for 20% of annual losses over the past decade. Approximately one-in-five losses in the Japan, Korea and North China region occur in March. Over a quarter of losses in the Arabian Gulf occur in June. Almost half of losses in the East Mediterranean and Black Sea occur through September to December. Thursday is the most frequent day for shipping incidents around the world.

Saturday is the quietest day. 

The unluckiest ships: Analysis shows that three different vessels share this title over the past decade, having each been involved in 19 reported incidents – a ro-ro vessel in the Great Lakes region of North America; a hydrofoil operating in the East Mediterranean & Black Sea; as well as a passenger ship operating in the British Isles.

The unluckiest ship name: Phoenix: In classical mythology the Phoenix is renowned as a unique bird which burned itself on a funeral pyre before rising from the ashes to live again. The Phoenix is also unique in the maritime loss world. Ironically, analysis shows that three vessels with this name have been lost over the past decade, making it the most common – and unluckiest – vessel name.

More on shipping losses

More than a quarter of all shipping losses occur in South China and South East Asian waters, with passenger ship safety a particular area of concern.

There were 85 large ships lost last year, according to the fourth annual AGCS Safety and Shipping Review 2016, which analyzes reported shipping losses of over 100 gross tons.

Although losses remained stable year-on-year, declining slightly from 88 in 2014, this still meant 2015 was the safest year in shipping for a decade. The 2015 accident year also represents a significant improvement on the 10-year loss average (2006-2015 period) which totals 123. In total shipping losses have declined by 45% since 2006, driven by an increasingly robust safety environment and self-regulation.

More than a quarter of all losses in 2015 (22) occurred in the South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines maritime region, which has been the top loss hotspot for the past decade.  Losses increased year-on-year, unlike the other major maritime regions such as East Mediterranean and Black Sea (11), Japan, Korea and North China (8) and the British Isles, North Sea, English Channel and Bay of Biscay (4), which all saw losses decline compared with 12 months previously.

A number of recent ferry losses in South East Asian waters have raised concerns about safety standards, particularly on domestic routes. Frequent sailings and profit pressures means scheduling maintenance can be challenging.