TIME TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST CONTAINER SHIP FIRES
This year has already seen an alarming number of container dry cargo ship fires including Yantian Express, APL Vancouver, Grande America, E.R. Kobe and KMTC Hong Kong. The escalation is of growing concern and the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has called for an urgent improvement to onboard firefighting systems.
At a recent conference in Arendal, Norway, organised by marine insurer and P&I Club, Gard, and attended by IMO, flag states, shipowners, salvors, class, and insurers, IUMI strengthened its position on this global issue.
Helle Hammer, Chair of IUMI’s Policy Forum, explains: “Fire-fighting capabilities onboard containerships are deficient and we need to see more headway to improve the safety of the crew, the environment, the cargo and the ships themselves.
“Mis and non-declaration of cargo has serious safety implications and is the root cause behind these tragic incidents. There is agreement among experts that the current means of controlling a fire in the cargo hold are of little effect.
“The safety objectives set out in SOLAS do not seem to be met, and in light of the various recent casualties the time for action is now.”
During the IMO’s 101st Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meeting in June 2019, IUMI raised its concerns about container ship fires and received support from various quarters, including IACS.
Now, in partnership with the German flag state, IUMI is calling for additional support from flag administrations and other stakeholders to bring this issue to IMO’s agenda in 2020.
In 2017, IUMI published a position paper to raise a variety of concerns including inadequate fire detection and onboard firefighting systems both on deck and under deck; and the need to revise SOLAS. This position paper will provide the foundation for the IMO proposal.
“Our position paper recommends that firefighting systems should be arranged to segregate the ship into fire compartments where the fire can be isolated to prevent it from spreading.
“Onboard systems could then cool the containers and allow them to burn out in a controlled manner.
“Fixed monitors to adequately attack the fire and improved fire detection system are further measures proposed to allow for an appropriate response mechanism.
“Better prevention measures must also address the concerning rise in cargo mis-declaration. The sad reality is that we can no longer sit idle. Containerships are increasing in size and complexity and this will only exacerbate the problem.”
The IUMI is calling for all stakeholders to work together and encourage IMO to
Chao Wei, … Stephen Liu, in Handbook of Environmental Degradation of Materials (Third Edition), 2018
Bulk carriers and oil tankers experienced a large number of losses during the 1970s to 1990s. The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) took a multiyear initiative and developed the Unified Requirements (UR) with the aim of improving the structural strength of bulk carriers and oil tankers. Higher levels of corrosion-protection requirements were added during the design stage to account for the confirmed higher levels of wastage due to corrosion, cargo handling, or other causes such as gas released from cargo.
In the 2000s, the IACS developed the Common Structural Rules (CSR), which created the industry standards for building tankers and bulk carriers (IACS, 2016). The IACS CSR was developed on the foundation of first principles, limit state design, identified structural failure modes, applications of advanced analytical tools such as finite-element method, miner’s rules for fatigue damage estimates, etc. The CSR values of corrosion-prevention practices are predefined based on statistical analysis of extensive corrosion wastages records. The wastage allowance that triggers plate renewal are rationalized.
The design, construction, and operation of this type of ship has attracted considerable attention over the years, as it became evident that the speed of loading/discharging as well as the sequence of the holds (where cargoes were loaded/discharged) resulted in structural problems and even catastrophic failures.
As a result of these incidents, the calculations of certain strength members of the ship had to be reviewed, with additional material being introduced in the hull areas that required strength improvements.
The single-deck design format of the cargo holds is that of a totally unobstructed box. This enables the carriage of dry bulk cargoes, such as grain, iron, coal, and concentrates of iron, bauxite, and aluminum.
The cargo holds’ assembly is a rectangular prism [or cuboid], with the accommodation, navigating bridge and engine room arranged at the after end and with the bow arranged at the forward end (Figure 11).
Large bulk carriers usually rely on port facilities for off-loading and these are generally similar to that depicted in Fig. 3.6. Intermediate bulk carriers, however, often have onboard facilities for self-off-loading. Such vessels are often used for the transfer of materials, such as cement, to storage depots at ports for local supply or to off-shore drilling rigs.
Materials are typically transferred from storage holds in the ship by a combination of air-assisted gravity conveyors and vacuum conveying systems, into twin blow tanks located in the center of the vessel. High-pressure air is supplied by onboard diesel driven compressors and materials are conveyed to dockside storage facilities through flexible rubber hose, which solves the problems of both location and tidal movements.
The rate at which these large vessels are lost is a matter of great concern. Between 1973 and 1996 the losses amounted to 375. The fatality rate is likewise disturbing; for the same period it was about 150 per year, one-fifth of the total average loss rate for all shipping. Furthermore, little is known about the manner in which these ships foundered and whether or not thereis a common design fault. Technical aspects of this problem are reviewed by Jubb,9 and Faith10 describes three of the losses in detail.
To date the most thorough investigation of a casualty is that of theDerbyshire. This 170 000 ton ship had been built in 1976 at the SwanHunter shipyard on the River Tyne. In September 1980 she sank during a tropical storm in the South China sea whilst en route from Seattle toYokohama with a cargo of iron ore. All 44 persons on board were lost. Noradio distress call was received, so it is assumed that a sudden catastrophic event occurred. Relatives of the deceased believed at the time that there had been a structural failure due to a design fault, such that the aft portion of the ship had parted from the forward cargo-carrying part. Some engineers shared this view, noting that, amongst other evidence, brittle cracks had been found in the deck plating of one of the Derbyshire’s sister ships. Accordingly the families’ association, with financial support from theInternational Transport Federation, set up an underwater search. In June1994 the wreck was located at a depth of 14 000 ft (just over two and a halfmiles), scattered over a distance of a mile from east to west. At this pointthe available funds ran out. The British government then financed a further search by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute of Massachusetts. Thewreck was fully mapped and it was found that the stern portion was separated from the forward part by a distance of 600 m. This was a clear indication that the ship had sunk in one piece. If the stern portion had separated at the surface it is most unlikely that the forward part, which contained numbers of watertight bulkheads, would have sunk at the same time. It would have remained afloat for some time, driven by the wind, and the two wrecks would have been widely separated. Thus, the structural weakness hypothesis was discounted and attention concentrated instead onthe potential weakness of the hatch covers. The strength of these items was calculated to be about one-tenth that of the deck itself. One small hatch cover was missing and others were stove-in (although this could have happened as the ship was sinking). The sudden inundation of water into acargo hold might well cause the ship to dive like a submarine, precluding any distress signal.
Data will decide success in the next normal of bulk and tanker shipping
COVID-19 and commodity-related trends are likely to depress medium-term demand, but companies that can leverage deep market insights will have the opportunity to outperform in the postcrisis economy.
ulk shipping has been attenuated for the past decade, despite some short-lived rebounds. In the medium term, the impact of COVID-19 and commodity trends is likely to continue to depress demand, dampen rates, and pose a number of other logistical challenges to the bulk and tanker shipping sector.
Even in this challenging environment, however, we see potential opportunities to outperform. Data is more accessible than ever, which means companies can access deep market insights around economic and commodity trends, shipping analytics, and customer information. Industry players that invest in analytics can use data-led insights to seize opportunities in four main areas: finding attractive subsectors and niches, optimizing vessel portfolios, improving commercial choices, and operating existing vehicles more effectively.
The bulk and tanker shipping industry has historically been characterized by more instinctive decision making (based on judgment and experience), so this will require a step change in analytics capability. The investment will be significant, but those companies that fully leverage the new data sources and cutting-edge analytics techniques will be well positioned and resilient in the postcrisis world.
Declining demand has led to sluggish growth in bulk and tanker shipping during the past decade. COVID-19 has compounded many of these issues; the slowdown in global economic growth has further decelerated demand for key bulk commodities, leading to a sustained oversupply of shipping capacity. The bulk shipping market grew at a CAGR of just 1.3 percent between 2015 and 2020, for example, and growth rates are expected to hover at around 0.8 percent per annum until 2030, with the fall in growth driven largely by declining Chinese demand for coal and iron ore.1
Despite slowing demand, the supply capacity of the dry bulk shipping market is expected to continue to increase. Shipbuilding is expected to add 3 to 4 percent to active capacity annually in the next ten years, while decommissioning will remove around 1 to 2 percent. The comparatively low rate of ship scrapping is due both to the relatively young age of the global dry bulk fleet (average tanker ship age is 10.2 years2 ) and to the low price of scrap. Overall, therefore, supply will increase at a CAGR of 1 to 3 percent.
This mismatch between weak demand and growing supply could depress rates over the coming years (Exhibit 1). Rates for dry bulk shipping experienced a surge before the 2008 financial crisis because of the strong demand for many commodities (including iron ore, coal, and grains), but have remained low since, and are not expected to rebound in the coming years.
The tanker shipping sector also faces significant challenges. COVID-19 and a number of recent geopolitical challenges have had a significant impact for major commodities such as crude oil (Exhibit 2). Shipping demand has contracted sharply and—despite a slight short-term rebound—is expected to remain at a low level in the medium term, and then decline further after 2032 as a result of the energy transition. Tanker shipping capacity is likely to grow steadily, driven by a large number of outstanding orders. Again, this low demand growth and steady supply growth will likely lead to a sustained oversupply of tanker shipping capacity in the next five years.Uncertainty around environmental regulation may negate some of the projected excess shipping capacity. There is still a lack of clarity around several environmental questions, including the level of greenhouse-gas reduction targets and the right fuel choice for the future. Ongoing uncertainty might dampen shipbuilding orders by the mid-2020s. This would go some way toward matching industry supply and demand.
Despite the global industry outlook, some submarkets remain attractive (Exhibit 3). Iron ore, for example, is a large, stable, and profitable market—though it will start to shrink during the coming years. Our modeling indicates the Chinese market drives around 70 percent of the global seaborne iron ore shipment. Chinese iron ore imports are expected to fall from 990 million tons in 2019 to 769 million tons in 2030 (a decrease of around 2.4 percent per year), however, because of China’s declining demand for steel, increasing supply of scrap, and rising adoption of the electronic arc furnace.
The global markets for grain and bauxite are also stable and potentially profitable, though they are smaller. Both markets will also grow over the coming years. Soybeans are expected to have a high growth rate, rising from 130 million tons in 2020 to 163 million tons in 2030. Bauxite shipping will grow rapidly in the next five years, and then stabilize. The shape of bauxite supply and demand will also change. Guinea will contribute more than 70 percent of global bauxite exports. China will drive demand, and bauxite is expected to make up 80 percent of Chinese imports from Guinea by 2023.
Data-driven insights such as these on which cargoes are growing and where should be used to inform all commercial decisions (see sidebar “About McKinsey’s trade model methodology”). Shipping companies should fully leverage as many data sources as possible to triangulate and improve accuracy, and should be guided by the following principles.
Be open to new cargo categories and new routes. The shape of global supply and demand is shifting, and shipping companies will need to be ready to adapt. Companies should make sure all routes and types of cargo are in the scope of research, including those with which they are not yet familiar. Companies that can get ahead of developing route or commodity trends may be able to pick up a considerable amount of new business. For example, China accounts for a large proportion of soybean imports, which it currently sources mostly from the United States and Brazil. In the future, however, the evolving global trading environment and domestic policy changes mean that emerging regions are likely to account for an increased portion of China’s soybean imports.
Get closer to customers. Customers are important sources of data and insight. Shipping companies that can cultivate strong customer relationships will have a better chance of understanding their future plans, and therefore of finding ways to serve them—both through core shipping and through value-added services (such as blending and transshipment).
Dredge, large floating device for underwater excavation. Dredging has four principal objectives: (1) to develop and maintain greater depths than naturally exist for canals, rivers, and harbours; (2) to obtain fill to raise the level of lowlands and thus create new land areas and improve drainage and sanitation; (3) to construct dams, dikes, and other control works for streams and seashore; and (4) to recover subaqueous deposits or marine life having commercial value.
Dredges are classed as mechanical and hydraulic. Many special types in both classes, and combinations of the two, have been devised. All types of dredges may have living quarters on board. Though dredges have been constructed to remove many kinds of deposits, the bulk of material removed has consisted of sand and mud.
A dipper dredge is essentially a power shovel mounted on a non propelled barge for marine use. Distinctive features are the bucket and its arm, the boom that supports and guides the arm and is mounted to work around a wide arc, and the mechanism that gives excavating movement to the bucket. A grab, or clamshell, dredge lowers, closes, and raises a single bucket by means of flexible cables. In operation the bucket is dropped to the bottom, where it bites because of its weight and the action of the bucket-closing mechanism. A grab dredge can work at virtually unlimited depths. A ladder dredge employs a continuous chain of buckets rotating around a rigid adjustable frame called a ladder. When the ladder is lowered to the bottom at a slant, the empty buckets descend along the underside to the bottom, where they dig into the mud; the loaded buckets return along the ladder’s upper side and dump at the top. The scraper dredge, also called a dragline, handles material with a scoop suspended from a swinging boom. The scoop is drawn forward by a line attached to the front, while a second line attached to the rear holds the scoop at the proper angle to slice the earth away as the device is pulled along. A hydraulic dredge makes use of a centrifugal pump. In the pump casing, an impeller expels by centrifugal action a mixture of solids, water, and gases. As a partial vacuum is created within the pump, atmospheric pressure on the outside water surface and the weight of the water itself (hydrostatic pressure) both act to force water and suspended solids from the bottom through the suction pipe into the pump. The materials emerging from the pump are conveyed into barges or through another pipe to the shore. Long stakes, called spuds, are frequently used to pinion a dredge to the bottom.
Groin, in coastal engineering, a long, narrow structure built out into the water from a beach in order to prevent beach erosion or to trap and accumulate sand that would otherwise drift along the beach face and nearshore zone under the influence of waves approaching the beach at an angle. A groin can be successful in stabilizing a beach on the updrift side, but erosion tends to be aggravated on the downdrift side, which is deprived by the groin structure of replenishment by drifting sand. Partly to counteract this tendency, often multiple groins are built in so-called groin fields, which can stabilize a larger beach area. See also breakwater; jetty.
Dry dock, type of dock (q.v.) consisting of a rectangular basin dug into the shore of a body of water and provided with a removable enclosure wall or gate on the side toward the water, used for major repairs and overhaul of vessels.
When a ship is to be docked, the dry dock is flooded, and the gate removed. After the vessel is brought in, and properly positioned and guyed, the watertight gate is placed in its seat and the dock is pumped dry, bringing the craft gradually to rest on supporting blocks anchored to the floor.
In older installations, in which the basins were relatively small, the dock structure was built mainly of massive stonework, or in a few instances, heavy timber framing. Later, these materials were supplanted by concrete, first in the ordinary mass form and later reinforced with steel. Modern dry docks are considerably larger in size and correspondingly more complex than their prototypes.
A dry dock gate, with its removable watertight barrier, has many forms and arrangements. In some, two leaves form a mitre gate hinged to the side walls of the dock. In others, the leaves roll on a track into recesses in the dock walls. In still others, a one-piece gate is hinged at the bottom sill so it may be lowered to allow a ship to enter. The type most commonly used, however, is the floating gate, which is held in its seat by its weight when the dock is empty and can be removed simply by floating it out of the way when the dock is filled with water.
While most ship repair work is carried out in stationary dry docks, there are some services that can be performed by mobile or floating structures. The principal such facility, the floating dry dock, is a trough-shaped cellular structure, used to lift ships out of the water for inspection and repairs. The ship is brought into the channel of the partly submerged dock, which is then floated by removing ballast from its hollow floor and walls and draining the dock so that it supports the craft on blocks attached to the dock floor. A typical floating dry dock is built of steel, with a framing system similar to that of a ship, although both timber and reinforced concrete have been used. Floating dry docks ordinarily are operated in sheltered harbours where wave action presents no problem.
Evolution of global marine fishing fleets and the response of fished resources
We independently reconstructed vessels number, engine power, and effort of the global marine fishing fleet, in both the artisanal and industrial sectors. Although global fishing capacity and effort have more than doubled since 1950 in all but the most industrialized regions, the nominal catch per unit of effort (CPUE) has comparatively decreased. Between 1950 and 2015 the effective CPUE, among the most widely used indicator to assess fisheries management and stocks well being, has decreased by over 80% for most countries. This paper highlights the large differences in the development of sectorial fishing fleets regionally. This detailed paper empowers future exploration of the drivers of these changes, critical to develop sector and regionally specific management models targeting global fisheries sustainability.
Previous reconstructions of marine fishing fleets have aggregated data without regard to the artisanal and industrial sectors. Engine power has often been estimated from subsets of the developed world, leading to inflated results. We disaggregated data into three sectors, artisanal (unpowered/powered) and industrial, and reconstructed the evolution of the fleet and its fishing effort. We found that the global fishing fleet doubled between 1950 and 2015—from 1.7 to 3.7 million vessels. This has been driven by substantial expansion of the motorized fleet, particularly, of the powered-artisanal fleet. By 2015, 68% of the global fishing fleet was motorized. Although the global fleet is dominated by small powered vessels under 50 kW, they contribute only 27% of the global engine power, which has increased from 25 to 145 GW (combined powered-artisanal and industrial fleets). Alongside an expansion of the fleets, the effective catch per unit of effort (CPUE) has consistently decreased since 1950, showing the increasing pressure of fisheries on ocean resources. The effective CPUE of most countries in 2015 was a fifth of its 1950s value, which was compared with a global decline in abundance. There are signs, however, of stabilization and more effective management in recent years, with a reduction in fleet sizes in developed countries. Based on historical patterns and allowing for the slowing rate of expansion, 1 million more motorized vessels could join the global fleet by midcentury as developing countries continue to transition away from subsistence fisheries, challenging sustainable use of fisheries’ resources.
Marine fisheries support global food security (1), human livelihood, employment (2), as well as global trade (3) and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future with the benefit of wise management.
Understanding fishing capacity is paramount to its management (4) and failure to manage fisheries compromises all of the services these vital resources offer. Although the importance of knowledge of fish stocks is undeniable, it cannot be disassociated from the fishing processes themselves. Catch per unit of effort (CPUE) is still a widely used measure of the well being of a fished stock (5), which cannot be estimated without some measure of the fishing capacity, defined hereafter in its simplest form—the number of existing fishing boats. Although there has been significant work to collect global fishing fleet data, most notably by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), gaps in the data are nontrivial, and no satisfying method has been found that fills them and allows for comparison or prediction without major and often flawed assumptions (6).
Although progress has been made toward reconstructing the historical size and power of the global fishing fleet (6, 7), several inconsistencies are apparent in the results. This is partially because public records aggregate disparate fishing fleets into one component as if they were easily interchangeable units. It is, however, well understood that global fishing fleets consist of, at least, two separable components: “artisanal” and “industrial,” the former comprising both motorized and unmotorized elements. These components of the fleet, although interacting, are different in their scope and aims (8) and vary vastly in their regional definitions. The industrial fleets are better documented and reported than artisanal fleets (9), specifically how they developed to exploit often distant fish stocks, which could not be fished efficiently by artisanal fishers. Recent technological progress, particularly in electronic monitoring systems, has provided a substantial volume of information on the composition and behavior of the larger components of the industrial fleet (10). In contrast, the extent and impact of the artisanal fishing fleet is underestimated in the literature. This paper aims to strengthen the knowledge of the global marine fishing fleets by reconstructing the number and engine power of artisanal and industrial fishing vessels.
For centuries, fishing vessels used sails and oars as propulsion methods. The introduction of steam-powered trawlers and the subsequent improvements in propulsion had a dramatic effect on the efficiency of fishing vessels, their spatial reach, and on landings; perhaps best documented in the Northern Atlantic (11). Whereas the focus nowadays is on industrial fishing operations, a vast portion of global fishing still occurs at artisanal levels (12, 13). Furthermore, as the research on fisheries is biased toward the developed world, the impact of the unpowered artisanal fishing fleet is often overlooked in academic studies. As up to a quarter of fishing vessels are unmotorized globally (1), neglecting this component of the fleet and its transition through technological advances results in vast underestimates of the impact of fishing, particularly, in the poorest parts of the world. Improved understanding of the motorization of the fishing fleet and taking a step back from focusing almost exclusively on detailed industrial fleets are fundamental for both reconstructing the past and for predicting the future evolution of fishing fleets. In this paper, we compiled data from various sources to fill in the gaps in the knowledge of global marine fishing fleets, particularly, their history and level of motorization, the separation to artisanal (both motorized and unmotorized, referred hereafter as “powered-artisanal” and “unpowered-artisanal”) and industrial sectors, and their fishing effort.
The number of vessels in the global marine fishing fleet doubled from 1.7 in 1950 to 3.7 million in 2015 (Fig. 1A). This increase is heterogeneous across the globe with a drastic increase in the size of the fishing fleet of Asia (defined hereafter as the countries in East Asia and the Indian Peninsula and excluding the Middle East, which were grouped instead with the Maghreb under “Arab World”), only slightly compensated by a fleet reduction in developed countries, such as observed in North America and Western Europe in the 1990s.