Report: Merchant Ship Total Losses Tumble

Monday, March 05, 2007
There has been a dramatic reduction in the number of total losses of merchant ships since the year 2000. New statistics released today by the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), which represents marine underwriters worldwide, indicate that 67 ships (of 500 gross tons and over) were total losses in 2006, compared to 140 in 2000 and a peak of 182 during the 1990s. However, this news is heavily diluted by an equally dramatic increase in serious partial losses, up by 200% since 1998.

IUMI stresses these are preliminary figures for 2006 as both total and partial losses or constructive total losses can rise in the early months of this year. The 2006 losses equate to approximately 0.1% of the world fleet, compared to 0.3% in 1996 and nearly 0.5% in 1990. There was a slight increase in actual tonnage lost in 2006, particularly in the bulk carrier sector, but this is largely explained by the total loss of a capesize bulker accounting for 37% of the total gross tonnage. The statistics, relating to the marine and offshore energy markets, comprise 43 graphics and four pages of commentary. The marine figures cover losses, the world fleet, construction activity, scrapping, freight rates and vessel values and repair costs. The energy statistics cover the world fleet of mobile offshore drilling units, newbuildings, the financial dynamics and losses.

They are the first statistics of their kind to be produced by IUMI as part of its commitment to respond to members’ requests to provide more technical information to underpin underwriting decisions. IUMI will continue to enhance the statistics, and also issue them on a regular basis to supplement the extensive statistics presented at each IUMI annual conference.

A small group of leading underwriters from within IUMI, culled from its facts and figures, ocean hull and offshore energy committees, has collated and analysed the basic information. This has been provided by a number of authoritative sources, some of the organisations being affiliate members of IUMI.

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