2001 Maritime

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May 4, 2001

Cruise market sails past 12 million passenger mark
The world wide cruise market last year exceeded the 12 million-cruise passenger level to reach 12,008,527, says Swedish-based ShipPax Information. This is an increase of 12.6% on the previous year’s figures, when, by ShipPax's reckoning, for the first time, the magic 10 million level was passed.

Though CLIA (Cruise Line Industry of America) statistics are the benchmark most often used to tally cruise industry carryings,they report only passengers carried by CLIA member lines.

ShipPax counts passengers carried by all passenger ships with overnight facilities and no cardecks. It excludes ships with no overnight facilities operating "cruises to nowhere."

ShipPax says 61% of the cruise passengers are Americans and 22% are Europeans.

The increase of 12.6% is only slightly below the development between 1998 and 1999 of 12.8%, whereas the two years before the comparative figures were 13.7% and 9.3% respectively. It firmly establishes that the cruise industry is a booming shipping segment. Four years ago, in 1997, only 8,322,000 passengers were cruising.

Cruise capacity increased by 10.1% to 255,133 lower berths. The average cruise vessel is 153.8 metres long, at a gross tonnage of 22,387.

Intercargo publishes bulker loss report
INTERCARGO, the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners, has released its latest bulk carrier report detailing losses in 2000 and for the ten years 1991-2000.

In 2000, fourteen ships, out of a total bulk carrier fleet of 5,513, were total losses. Regrettably, 23 lives were lost – the lowest figure during the ten year period. 18 of those 23 lives were lost in one casualty, the Leader L, which sank following structural failure. The average age of bulkers lost was 20.4 years, a fraction above the ten year average of 20.3 years underlining the fact that it is older bulk carriers that are statistically most at risk. Structural failure remains a consistent and significant cause of loss, while the presence of heavy cargoes feature in many losses.

The report references casualty individual reports that were published last year – Derbyshire (sank December 1980), Flare (sank January 1998), Leader L (sank March 2000) and Leros Strength (sank February 1997).

The report also details the relative performance of flag states over the ten year period giving number of losses and the loss ratio for all the registries that have lost ships. St. Vincent & The Grenadines performed worst, relative to the average size of its fleet, with 11 losses.

In addition to listing total losses this year the report has a section for serious casualties. Although these ships were not lost their circumstances are still worthy of mention and - particularly where structural failure was involved - worthy of investigation.

"This is an area where there is much to be learned," says Roger Holt, Secretary General of INTERCARGO. "It is far easier and less costly to learn from ships still floating than those lying on the ocean floor – particularly as there still appears to be a lack of urgency in investigating the causes of total losses."

INTERCARGO supports current work on bulk carrier safety at the IMO and the emphasis being placed on the Formal Safety Assessment. It also believes that it is the right time to look at minimum shipbuilding standards, arguing that many standard bulk carrier designs have become too optimized. As ships age, there are more changes in ownership and maintenance requirements increase. Ships may thus be operated in conditions that exceed the limitations of their design and construction.