A series of incidents with exceptional container losses occurred during the winter season 2020-2021. The TopTier project was put in place by the industry to find ways to avoid similar incidents in the future. Initial Results show that parametric rolling in following seas was especially hazardous.
The International Group of P&I Clubs recently became a member of the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN) Top Tier project. The project has been established to examine and assess the causes of container losses arising from at-sea incidents onboard various sizes of container ships with a particular focus on ultra large ships. The project has been approved by a cross-section of industry, academic and government interests and MARIN will produce a report of its findings including recommendations in due course. It is envisaged that the recommendations will eventually lead to operational and technical improvements that should mitigate the risk and underlying causes of container losses at sea.
In the meantime, the International Group has received from the Top Tier project an interim note “Beware of parametric rolling in following seas” that sets out the hazard to container ships and a detailed explanation of the conditions that trigger parametric rolling. The note is considered by all clubs to be of crucial importance to container ship operators, masters and crew. The note is technical and intended for use by seafarers and company operational staff.
All clubs in the International Group have issued a similarly worded notice. For more information about stack collapse, see Gard’s Insight article Why do containership stacks collapse and who is liable?