4 DC VELOCITY AUGUST 2017 www.dcvelocity.com
As any experienced export manager will tell you, the
safe loading of containers aboard a vessel is no guarantee of their safe arrival. Violent events like rough
seas, ship groundings, and collisions can all cause
containers to tumble off crowded decks and sink
below the waves. And with an estimated 6,000 containerships active on the world’s seas and waterways
at any given time, the numbers add up, according to
the World Shipping Council (WSC), a trade group for
the liner shipping industry.
But exactly how many containers are lost? In 2011,
WSC started conducting triennial surveys of ocean
carriers, asking how many containers had fallen
overboard. The results of the study’s latest edition
show that over the nine-year period from 2008–2016,
an average 568 containers were lost at sea each
year during normal operating conditions. When the
researchers factored in catastrophic events (defined as
incidents in which 50 or more containers were lost in
a single blow), that number rose to an average 1,582
containers lost at sea each year.
Looking at trends over the years, the average annual
losses in normal conditions were fairly stable, ranging
from 350 containers lost in the 2008–2011 survey to
733 containers in 2011–2014 and 612 in 2014–2017.
Adding the figures from catastrophic events pushed
those numbers to averages of 675, 2,683, and 1,390 for
the three periods.
Although WSC points out that those totals represent a small fraction of the 130 million containers
shipped in 2016, the group is now working with its
member companies to drive the losses down. The
shipping lines are trying initiatives such as verifying
container weights before packed containers may be
loaded aboard ships, adopting a code of practice for
safely packing cargo on ships, and requiring standards
for container lashing equipment and corner castings.
Box overboard! Survey looks at
problem of containers lost at sea
Here’s our monthly roundup of some of the charitable
works and donations by companies in the material
handling and logistics space.
; Itasca, Ill.-based freight forwarder AIT Worldwide
Logistics will support the St. Jude Children’s Research
Hospital by participating in the St. Jude Walk/Run to
End Childhood Cancer. The company has committed
to matching all funds raised by employees, with an
overall fundraising goal of $50,000. The event is held
annually in September during Childhood Cancer
; Blue Bell, Pa.-based transportation management
services provider CLX Logistics has donated $2,500 to
Smile Train, an international children’s
charity that provides
corrective surgery for
children with cleft
lips and palates. The
company notes that the gift could potentially help
multiple patients, as just $1,000 can provide cleft surgery for four children, while $50 will cover the cost of
an overnight hospital stay.
; To support fire relief efforts in British Columbia,
the Calgary, Alberta-based rail line Canadian Pacific
(CP) will make a $50,000 donation to the Canadian
Red Cross as well as match any employee donations.
CP is also moving relief supplies at no cost to the
affected area and has deployed additional CP Police
officers to the region to assist first responders.
; Global transportation and logistics giant DHL has
announced the five winners of the first DHL Youth
Volunteer Fellowship Award, which recognizes young
Americans, aged 13–18, who are moving the needle on
social change. The awards program, which is conducted in coordination with the social charity group WE,
is designed to help jumpstart these leaders’ futures by
providing them with the tools and support to continue being community trailblazers.
; The International Warehouse Logistics
Association (IWLA) worked with member companies
States Logistics, Evans Distribution, and Shippers
Warehouse to provide warehouse space to house a
large donation of disaster relief materials. The effort,
which was organized by the American Logistics Aid
Network (ALAN), allowed the charity Good360 to
pre-position nearly 300 pallets of pillows in high-risk
areas around the country.
Logistics gives back