Fewer containers lost at sea in 2022

shipping containers

Worldwide, a total of 661 shipping containers were lost overboard last year. That figure is significantly lower than the annual average of 1,566 containers lost at sea, according to the latest annual report from the World Shipping Council (WSC).

The annual average of containers lost at sea is based on the statistics for the period from 2008 to 2022. The 661 ones lost in 2022 represent only a tiny fraction of the 250 million containers currently shipped each year, with the cargo transported worth more than US$7 trillion.

No time for complacency

“The reduction in containers lost at sea in 2022 is positive news, but there is no time for complacency. 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,” said John Butler, President and CEO of WSC.

According to WSC, proper packing, stowage and securing of containers, as well as reporting of the correct weight, are essential for the safety of a container ship, its crew and its cargo, as well as for shore-based workers and the environment. Moreover, the annual report indicates that responsibility for container safety is shared throughout the supply chain and liner carriers work with their partners on a daily basis to prevent incidents and ensure safe container transport.

Maritime Research Institute Netherlands

“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,” noted WSC. Together with several member lines and various maritime stakeholders, WSC also launched the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) Top Tier project in 2021, aimed at examining and assessing the causes of container loss due to incidents at sea.