Ships that score higher numbers of deficiencies for each port state control inspection are less likely to be able to fight off pirates suggests the latest edition of Intercargo’s Benchmarking Bulk Carriers 2010-11. The findings from the fifth annual statistical survey are not surprising: issues such as lack of situational awareness, inadequate lookouts, lack of use of available information, under-manning and not following procedures are as much a characteristic of pirate hijackings as they are of maritime accidents.
While ships entered with Intercargo performed better than industry averages, according to a statement by the organisation, there are concerns related to safety. A reverse of industry consolidation means there are now 1536 dry bulk companies compared to 1313 a year previously and The growth of shipping flagged or owned in China means that 50.01 per cent of all dry bulk shipping is now Asian. Greater flag consolidation means that nearly 93% of the fleet is now under just 11 flags.
However, that growth has introduced new players and, says Intercargo: “There is potential for inexperienced companies to adversely impact on safety trends”.