Unavoidable Shipping Risks

In line with the international trade flow, the use of shipping containers in the world grows every year. As the oceans connect a big part of our world, they present a good opportunity for the transport of goods. But, many hazards come along with it. Our shipping and logistics specialists will tell you more about the unavoidable shipping risks they face in the industry.

What Are The Most Frequent Unavoidable Shipping Risks?

Many risks are present in the shipping industry. While the biggest part is easy to avoid, there are some inevitable shipping hazards, as well. As an experienced freight forwarder in Saudi Arabia, we’ve seen a lot over the years. To name but a few, injuries, ship collisions, fires, and theft attempts are some of them. Yet, these situations are easy to prevent. In most of them, the human factor is involved. This makes them easy to predict, so as to avoid them. But, there are some unavoidable shipping risks, that can’t be easily predicted nor influenced. The most frequent ones are:

  • Weather perils
  • Seascape conditions
  • Technological issues

As we said before, many risks are preventable. But at times due to circumstances, unavoidable shipping risks arise. Let’s see what exactly are those.

Sea storm
Sea storms are unavoidable shipping risks, as they are very unpredictable.

Weather Perils on the Sea Horizons

Weather is always present on the inevitable shipping risks watchlist. On the open sea, the most dangerous threats are hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones. These vicious storms feature rain and winds that can reach 260 kilometers per hour! The sea waves can reach enormous heights, and cause damages to the ship. They can even completely sink a vessel. So, modern day ships are very large, which helps them ride the intense sea waves more safely. They are build of steel, with watertight doors. This prevents any cargo, including oil and chemicals from damages or loss, if an accident occurs. Also, the advances in meteorology make it easier to predict and dodge sea storms. With the development of science and engineering, it’s possible to diminish unavoidable shipping risks due to weather, more than it was in the past.

Seascape Conditions Pose Unavoidable Shipping Risks

Oceans are full of mystery. This is why they present inevitable shipping hazards. Aside from the weather, there are many things on the seascape that can harm a ship. Coral reefs, sandbars, and icebergs can be a potential threat. We all know the story of Titanic. These things can make the seas tricky to navigate. Often, this can result in delays. For example, cold chain logistics is especially vulnerable to these events. Besides, canals may present inevitable shipping risks. To illustrate, Suez Canal is quite narrow and not very deep. For large ships, this is an issue, as the vessel can strike the bottom or the sides of the canal. In this case, a good deal of planning is needed, to reduce such unavoidable shipping risks.

The Suez Canal
Being narrow and shallow, canals are an issue for large ships

Technological Issues

Albeit very rare, these can still happen. Even the most thorough checks and risk assessments are no guarantee that an accident won’t happen when the ship leaves the dock. Engine issues, navigation equipment failure, structural damages, or fires on board are all potentially unavoidable shipping risks. However, today we have many resources and information, to successfully lower the impact of unforeseen hazards, and sail the seas safely. Despite the unavoidable shipping risks, the ocean is still one of the best routes of international trade.

Above we have reviewed the main shipping risks that are tricky to avoid. So, now you know more about the challenges that logistics faces. Good luck and stay safe.


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