HCB Interview: Episode 1 - Container Ship Fires

HCB interview - episode 1 - containership fires
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Episode 1 of Peter Mackay, HCB Live's interview on container ship fires with TT Club's Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-fox.

This episode looks at what can be done to prevent container ship fires after 2019 was plagued with incidents.

Container Ship Fires on the Rise

Container ship fires have been on the rise in recent years. In 2022 alone, there have been 7 major fires involving container ships, compared to an average of 6 per year over the past 20 years.

One of the main reasons for the increase in container ship fires is the misdeclaration or improper declaration of dangerous goods. In many cases, containers that are carrying dangerous goods are not properly labelled or documented, which can make it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the fires if they do occur.

Factors Contributing to Container Ship Fires

Another factor that contributes to container ship fires is the use of informal shipping routes. Charcoal is a common cargo that is involved in container ship fires, and it is often produced in informal economies where there are no regulations governing the production or transportation of the material.

The increase in container ship fires is a serious concern for the shipping industry. The fires can cause significant damage to ships and cargo, and they can also pose a risk to the safety of the crew and passengers.

Reducing the Risk of Container Ship Fires

There are several steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of container ship fires. These include:

  • Ensuring that all dangerous goods are properly labelled and documented.
  • Reducing the use of informal shipping routes.
  • Improving fire safety training for crew members.

Preventing Container Ship Fires

In addition to the above, here are some other things that can be done to prevent container ship fires:

  • Installing fire suppression systems in containers.
  • Using fire-resistant materials in the construction of container ships.
  • Improving communication and coordination between different stakeholders in the shipping industry.


Staff Author

Thomas Miller Group