Allianz warns of motor ship pain after loss of 4,000 vehicles at sea
Allianz says car transport incidents are now a major cause of loss for the insurance industry after a freighter carrying around 4,000 Volkswagen vehicles caught fire and sank in the Atlantic two months ago.
Fires aboard car carriers have become a loss factor over the past decade, according to a report released Tuesday by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, the German company’s industrial insurance arm. In many cases, the fires resulted in the total loss of cargo and the vessel, he added.
The car transporters, the largest of which can hold up to 8,000 vehicles, are susceptible to stability issues and fires, said Justus Heinrich, marine manager for Central and Eastern Europe at AGCS.
The ships were already under surveillance following a series of incidents, he said. “And now we have the Felicity Ace. These victims are very complex and expensive to resolve,” he said.
The Felicity Ace, carrying Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini and other VW Group cars, sank off the Azores in Portugal after being battered by waves and tilted 45 degrees to its starboard side, the operator of the ship said. ship at the time.
Allianz said open decks allow fires to spread quickly, while any water ingress will affect the stability of so-called roll-on roll-off vessels.
They are under commercial pressure with short turnaround times in port, which can cause ships to sail before the crew has checked ballast calculations or completed stowing and securing watertight doors, a- he added.
The research points to additional fire risks from electric vehicles, Allianz said, as tests have shown that ships’ water sprinkler systems alone are not effective in extinguishing an electric vehicle fire.