Higher sailing speeds, higher number of accidents
Containerships operate at much higher speeds in order to move cargos around the world quickly and keep delivery times down. Modern containerships are designed to operate at service speeds of up to 27 knots much faster than tankers or bulk carriers. This high speed will result in greater impact in
collisions and groundings resulting in more damage to the vessel when compared to lower speeds. Therefore there is a greater risk that containers will be lost overboard if an accident does occur. The ever-increasing incidents of lost containers that are arriving on coastlines and beaches are now becoming an issue for coastal local authorities. Although most of these incidents involve non-toxic pollution such as consumer goods more and more incidents are involving toxic material which adds a further burden to local emergency services. As the main providers of cleanup responses Local Authorities have to bear the cost of such incidents.
The impact of lost cargo on the surrounding coastline
In the case of the MSC Napoli a colossal volume of cargo was lost overboard. Most of these containers washed up on the Branscombe coastline soon after the vessel had become grounded at sea. Luckily the majority of the Napoli's cargo was non-toxic, however, the variety of goods washed up on the beaches caused local authorities significant problems; in terms of organising the clean-up of the scattered cargo and the need to prohibit the illegal collection of goods by the general public. In the past, coastal municipalities were left to provide finances for the cleanup operation. The clean-up of the Napoli's cargo was bound to be expensive. The Napoli was carrying 3,600 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. A percentage of this was lost into the sea, however the local authorities were able to contain the spill.
What KIMO proposes
KIMO, in recognition of the need to improve the compensation regime for coastal communities in relation to Non-Toxic pollution, in order to reduce the pollution load on our sea and coastal waters demonstrates towards a series of sea-changes to industry standards.
All European governments, the European Commission and Parliament to act in unison at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to establish measures to:
Reduce the loss of containers from shipping
Develop measures to identify and retrieve lost containers
Ensure that all containers should be weighted before shipment
Introduce financial penalties and compensation regimes for the retrieval of lost containers
And to work towards a Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Non-Toxic Substances including strict liability on ship owners for pollution from their vessels, compulsory insurance for all vessels and a reserve fund to cover any shortfalls in compensation.
Recognition of our efforts in this field
In December 2008 Devon County Council published its official public enquiry into the MSC Napoli incident in January 2007. Their comprehensive investigation into the incident also proposed a series of potential improvements to the regulation of the cargo shipping industry. The enquiry fully supported KIMO's campaign to develop a convention for liability and compensation arising from non-toxic pollution.
Download the Devon County Council MSC Napoli Public Enquiry here.
The Problem... Ship-to-Ship Transfers