LONDON, March 13 The rise of super-sized
container vessels and the opening up of potentially hazardous
routes through once-frozen Arctic waters pose the biggest new
challenges to ships and their insurers, a report said.
German insurer Allianz flagged these "emerging
risks" in its annual Safety and Shipping report, published on
Thursday. The company said increased use of these large cargo
ships, such as the Maersk "Triple E class", which is as long as
four football pitches, could lead to potentially massive
"The claims arising out of maritime emergencies of these
mega ships can be huge. For example, just think of the business
interruption of ports and terminals if an accident was to block
the entrance," Sven Gerhard, Global Product Leader, Hull &
Marine Liabilities at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty,
The insurer also pointed to increasing use of greener fuels
such as liquefied natural gas to power ships as a potential
hazard because of a lack of infrastructure in ports or expertise
in handling it.
A third emerging risk were new Arctic trading routes, opened
up my melting sea ice.
Shipping casualties in the Arctic have increased to an
average of 45 per year during 2009 to 2013, from only seven
between 2002 and 2007, Allianz said.
Shipping losses in 2013 were down 20 percent from a year
earlier with 94 vessels lost worldwide. Most of these were due
to vessels sinking, often on account of bad weather, the insurer
said in the report.
On piracy, Allianz said this was declining globally, down 11
percent last year to 264 reported incidents. But the company
also said this masked a rapid increase in attacks in specific
regions. Last year, there were 106 reported incidents in
Indonesia, a 700 percent increase since 2009, Allianz said.
(Reporting by Chris Vellacott. Editing by Jane Merriman)