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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Equasis reviews Merchant Fleet and its safety performance

Equasis has recently released its first publication providing an analysis of data as contained in the Equasis database, including key figures of the world merchant fleet in 2005 and its safety performance. INTERTANKO participated actively and provided its input when the proposal by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to produce periodic statistics from the Equasis database was discussed at length at Equasis Editorial Board meetings.


The 2005 report is grouped into five sections:  a) The Fleet Population b) Classification Societies c) P&I d) Port State Control e) Trade Associations, Industry Vetting Programmes and Shipping Companies.  Statistical analysis is based on two elements – a)  size and b) type of ships.


It is worth noting that, by number, the Equasis fleet is dominated (87%) by small and medium sized ships of up to 25,000 gt. Many of the smallest ships are not subject to international conventions on safety and pollution prevention because of their size or because they do not trade internationally, and therefore 97% of the small ships have not been inspected by port state control (23,035 un-inspected ships out of 23,660). In terms of tonnage, the large and very large categories represent 71% of the whole fleet, with oil and chemical tankers dominating both categories at 61.8 %. The proportion of un-inspected ships in the large and very large ships categories falls to 6% and 10% respectively.


Results of the statistical analysis show that those ships with IACS class  were less likely to be detained in 2005 (3.2%) than those with non-IACS societies (17.3%) or whose IACS status has been withdrawn (10.64%).  By number, half of the fleet in the Equasis database is classed with an IACS member; but by tonnage, ships under IACS class societies dominate – 90% overall, and 95% for large and very large ships. 


In a similar context, ships insured outside the International Group of P & I Clubs (IG) were more likely to be detained in 2005 (9.24%) than those inside the Group (3.06%) particularly among cargo ships. Equasis figures indicate that while only 36% of the total number of ships is covered by one of the members of the International Group, 88% of the fleet by tonnage is covered by IG insurers.


The last section of the report focuses on trade associations and industry vetting programmes which include  INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO, Green Awards, Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) and the Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF).    Interestingly, the figures suggest that medium, large, and very large ships covered by one of the trade associations and industry vetting programmes are inspected more frequently than those ships not covered by the associations.  For example, in the large ships category, vessels operated by INTERTANKO members were each inspected, on average, 2.25 times compared to 1.53 times for those operated by non-INTERTANKO members.


However the Equasis analysis shows that the INTERTANKO fleet has an impressive safety performance record in 2005 as measured by its detention rate. Despite being subjected to three times as many inspections, the detention rate of the INTERTANKO fleet is much lower (1.7%) than non-Intertanko members (3.1%).


Contact:  Minerva R. Alfonso