Call for unified market-wide data on port accumulations

The marine cargo market has been urged to adopt a market-wide, industry-approved dataset to help manage the spectre of port accumulation exposure.

The clarion call was made by participants at the Emerging Risks/Russell Group Roundtable at the International Union of Marine Insurance annual conference in Edinburgh.

Discussing the question “Does the cargo market have a handle on port accumulations?”, those at the Roundtable were unanimous in their assessment that port accumulation exposure has grown considerably in recent year, with vessels, infrastructure and transit all part of a growing exposure at world ports which is insufficiently understood by the cargo market.

A real problem here, according to those at the Roundtable, is the continuing inconsistency of data which is provided to the marine market, with information coming from several different agencies in a number of different formats, making it difficult for insurers and reinsurers alike to collate information from a variegated set of data points.

Unified, granular, real-time data relating to port accumulation exposures is now seen as a gold standard for the market, and a service that insurers and reinsurers alike would hugely value in order to obtain a better understanding of this key emerging risk for the marine cargo market.

Participants suggested that the most realistic route to achieving this goal would be for external organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation and International Air Transport  Association to provide such a service. However, they also accepted that such a route could take years, and that as such a commercial vendor might be able to facilitate the provision of such a data service more quickly.