Half of maritime incidents in 2022 occurred in ports and terminals

RightShip data shows that in 2022, half of the incidents we’ve recorded occurred in ports and terminals. 


Where location data is available, 50% of incidents occurred within the port and terminal boundary, including at berth or using facilities, waiting at anchorage, and during harbour transit. RightShip data shows there were 2,400 incidents in 2022 where the location was recorded. Half of the incidents occurred for vessels in the ports and terminals environments, and most of those (813) were in ports and harbours when docked.  

“This statistic should be worrying to harbour masters and operations teams. Even though many larger ports are used to manage vessels of varying operational and safety standards each day, the data shows that the inherent risk while the vessel is within a port’s boundary is much larger than we previously thought. Many of these risks are out of the port’s control, and they need to be ready to deal with issues as they occur, while also making sure their operations across all facilities are not disrupted,” Yucel Yildiz, RightShip’s Port and Terminal Manager said. 

RightShip gathers global incident data from various leading sources, including PSC, MOUs, classification societies, flag states, shipowner and managers self-reporting and other data sources.  

Observations on global incidence data from RightShip 

Port authorities know that safety gaps cause accidents or worse, loss of life to seafarers and shore personnel. While port operations teams know it makes commercial sense to attract vessels to your ports and terminals environment, incidents can result in pollution, property damage, and delays, or a combination of these. The impact of these incidents on the port’s ability to process vessels at the same rate can be severely reduced, which can become very costly. 

For this reason, many port authorities and the operations teams within ports and terminals want to adopt high operational standards to reduce complicated and inherent risks, and maintain high operating performance. The big question is how to get in front of the issues and avoid letting riskier vessels cause a greater number of incidents in ports and terminals? 

Protect your operational performance 

Ports and terminals need to gather information effectively to plan and manage risk. If you can evaluate issues before you accept vessels into berth, and adopt record keeping on departures, you can plan for the risks instead of simply accepting that “accidents happen”.  

Operations budgets have to account for disruption. But it’s costly to retask shore personnel, endure entire berths being out of action, or in the worst-case scenarios, have a vessel clogging up transit routes for multiple berths, all situations to be avoided for smooth port operations. 

Check your port operations  

The present generation of vessel guidance largely consists of written procedures and checklists. 

RightShip sees leaders in the ports and terminals operations sector tackling incident numbers by using a combination of data focused on pre-arrivals and departures and sharing information as a community to improve supply chain risk. This will improve the overall efficiency of a port’s operations while reducing costly and time-consuming incidents.