A ship is designed and equipped for world-wide trade but its risk exposure varies from one voyage to another. In addition to risk factors relating to cargoes carried, changing weather, differences in crews’ qualifications, etc., a very important factor of the risk equation is a ship’s area of trade.
Some areas are known to have heightened risk levels. One example is the added safety risk for ships operating in cold climates. Another example is the added security risk for ships operating in piracy prone areas. Ship operators will also face various types of economic risks. In some countries corruption is widespread while other countries may be exposed to international economic sanctions for political reasons. Specific areas or ports could also experience an immediate alteration of risk due to political instability, disease outbreaks, etc.
A ship can never eliminate all risks. But by proper planning and implementation of measures identified through execution of a voyage-specific risk assessment, a ship’s exposure to area specific risks may be reduced to an acceptable level.