Two new major reports outline how Covid-19, climate change, decarbonisation, cyber and ever-larger vessels present long-term challenges for commercial shipping. It is hardly surprising given the events of the past year or so – but could shared data technology and better collaboration go some way to helping the industry find solutions?

The Safety and Shipping Review 2021 – published by insurance carrier Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) – does, however, go on to predict that the shipping industry’s economic recovery remains volatile.

It describes the current crew change situation as “a humanitarian crisis,” estimating that 200,000 seafarers remain stranded aboard vessels, unable to be repatriated due to Covid restrictions, and contributing to mental fatigue and poor decision-making that directly impacts shipping safety.

The report looks at a variety of risks such as those of  ever-larger vessels; the blocking of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given container ship in March 2021 is pointed out by the report as being indicative of a growing list of incidents involving increasingly large commercial vessels.

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