Well, we're at the end of our blog series on the risks stated by shipping companies in their annual reports to shareholders. I'm sure you'll agree it's been a bumpy ride, with tales of natural disasters, piracy, political conflict and market volatility.
It seems appropriate to wrap up this risky blog series at a time when the web and social media are a-buzz with images of the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) Comfort, a vessel laden with containers split into two on the Indian Ocean due to a major structural failure.
The ship's hull suffered a crack in the Indian Ocean and split directly into two. Luckily, no seafarers were hurt, and there was no evidence of oil leakage, but the fact that many containers may have been lost or damaged just goes to show that inclement weather and structural faults are some of the many 'maybe' risks in our industry (what can I say; we're living on the edge).
The fallout from this is yet to be determined; the number of containers damaged is yet to be confirmed and heck, the fore part of the MOL Comfort has yet to be located (at the time of writing) due to the continuing adverse weather at the site of the incident.
No doubt other shipping companies worldwide saw the social media buzz around this particular disaster and thought 'don’t let that be me'. But it's just a matter of time before the next shipping incident – as gloomy as that sounds. Hopefully we won't see another Costa Concordia, but genuinely it could happen again. And that makes it easy to understand why those shipping company annual reports paint such a dark forecast; because really, you never know.