Overboard containers hit more than 1,000 in 2021
There is always a risk when transporting shipping containers over open waters, whether it is rough weather conditions or pirates, logistic companies have to shoulder an immense amount of danger each time a cargo ship leaves port, especially nowadays when the volume of items being transported has increased due to an influx in online spending amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to a news report from MoreThanShipping.com, overboard containers – containers that have fallen into the ocean while being transported by ships – have seen a drastic rise over the last seven years with 2020 recording more than 3,000 boxes and 2021 more than 1,000.
“Containers piled high on vessels transporting everything from vehicle parts to smartphones are falling over at an alarming pace, sending millions of dollars of cargo sinking to the bottom of the ocean as pressure to expedite deliveries increases the risk of safety features,” the article wrote.
It further added that more than 3,000 boxes have fallen overboard in the sea last year, whilst more than 1,000 have been lost in the first half of 2021 alone.
“The mishaps interrupt supply chains for hundreds of retailers and manufacturers, from small companies to big corporations,” it said. “The climate is getting more unpredictable, while ships are becoming bigger, allowing containers to be stacked higher than ever before. As a result, significantly exacerbating the situation is a flood in e-commerce after the consumer market exploded throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing the urgency for shipping lines to deliver products as swiftly as possible. Commercial pressure has pushed vessels to make more voyages, thus increasing the risk of transport mishaps.”
The article further explained that almost all the recent overboard incidences have occurred in the Pacific Ocean.
“In this region, the heaviest sea traffic and the worst weather usually conflict. The sea route connecting many Asia economies to consumers in North America was the most profitable for shipping companies in 2020,” the article stated.
It also mentioned that the route has always been rough, but it’s become more dangerous due to changing climate patterns.
The article concluded that the industry undoubtedly demands more protection over containers; initially, it is essential to secure moving cargo by purchasing cargo insurance.
“With the current backlogs, blank sailings, equipment shortages, and space unavailability, it seems that this trend will stick for a while.”