Marine transportation

Common Causes of Accidents on Cargo Ships

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Marine transportation is one of the leading options for hauling various cargo. Unlike air transport that is considered faster and has thus been the primary option for business cargo transportation, marine transport can accommodate goods of all weights and shapes. Like all aspects of life, nonetheless, maritime transportation is not fail-safe. Several issues might affect your shipping and negate the considerable profits you stand to make as a charterer of a sea vessel for hiring space to other people who want to ship items.

Liability insurance for charterers is thus an essential element for all companies dealing with marine transportation. This insurance will cover any losses that affect the cargo you are transporting, worker injuries and the damage to the ship you charter. Here are a few elements that contribute to most cargo ship accidents.

Cargo Shift

It might not always be possible to pack your ship to the brim for a charter. The cargo you pack on your ship might thus shift during transportation. This might cause the vessel to tilt to one side or even the breakage of several cargo pieces. Moreover, the shift might leave a space that was not originally there and create a hazard of falling objects on your workers and an imbalance of your ship. It is essential to ensure your cargo is properly packed, tied down and balanced to minimize the risk of its shift.

Turbulent Seas

While turbulence can affect all ships in navigation, it will present a particular challenge and hazard when it involves cargo ships. Violent storms, strange ocean changes and fierce currents are some acts of God that might affect your charter and see you end up with a damaged ship and destroyed cargo. While you cannot do much to avert turbulent seas, you can minimize the impact on your shipment and vessel. Opting for well-maintained ships and investing in exceptional storage containers for the cargo you will be handling are some measures that will reduce the effect.

Combustible Cargo


You will be handling different types of cargo unless you are a niche charter company. Some load might be combustible and become the cause of a fire at sea when improperly handled or stored. This might nonetheless not be an issue if you label the goods clearly and place them far away from the engines. Some combustible cargo types include chemicals, cotton, coal and even fish meal.

Slippery Decks

Slips on your deck are a real issue even when loading your cargo at the shore.  The primary element that contributes to deck slips is slipperiness from spilled shipment or wet weather conditions. Investing in non-skid shoes for your workers when working on deck and keeping your deck as dry and clean as possible will reduce the risk of slips on your deck.

There is only so much a charterer can do as concerns some above causes of ship accidents. Marine insurance will prove crucial and cost-saving in case any of these elements affect your voyage. Even so, be careful to pick an honest insurer who will not take you in circles when claiming compensation for any issues that affect your cargo, workers and the ship.

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