World Shipping Council Reports Record Low Container Losses at Sea in 2023

The World Shipping Council (WSC) has released its annual report on containers lost at sea, revealing a significant decrease to 221 containers lost in 2023, the lowest number recorded since the survey began in 2008.

The Marin TopTier joint industry project, launched three years ago, has yielded concrete outcomes regarding the causes of containers going overboard. The project has provided recommendations and training materials on how to avoid and manage different types of dangerous parametric rolling. This initiative was launched following a particularly severe year for container losses.

“The reduction in containers lost at sea in 2023 is a positive development, but it does not diminish the urgency of our work. Every container lost at sea represents a potential hazard, and our commitment to preventing these incidents must be unwavering,” said John Butler, CEO of the World Shipping Council.

New mandatory reporting requirements for containers lost at sea were recently adopted by the International Maritime Organization and will take effect on January 1, 2026.

The WSC has been reporting on the number of containers lost at sea since 2011, with data starting from 2008. Initially updated every three years, the report is now produced annually since 2023 as part of WSC’s advocacy for mandatory international reporting of containers overboard.

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