Transport capacities by sea, land and air are increasing throughout the world, and both port logistics and trans-shipment rates are keeping pace with this development. This is resulting in higher value concentrations and consequently higher insured values. International trading hubs have therefore become centres of high value concentration, with the larger ports handling goods worth several billion euros every day.
Complex transport chains mean high risk: the transport of valuable industrial goods requires not only insurance cover but also experience in assessing risks at an early stage and responding rapidly in case anything goes wrong in transit. Major projects, for instance the construction of wind farms, are logistical challenges for all parties concerned. If only one link in the chain fails, delays and high penalties may be the consequence. Adequate insurance cover can help mitigate the risk here as well.
International air transport continues to increase, with figures expected to double over the next 20 years. Air traffic is exposed to a great variety of risks, beginning with natural hazards that can hinder flights and lead to losses. Winter snow and ice frequently cause delays, cancellations and accidents. Slippery surfaces make braking and steering difficult, if not impossible. Ice on the aircraft wings is also a problem, as even a small amount of ice can significantly impede the aerodynamics. In summer, thunderstorms become the main issue: heavy rain can impede a pilot’s view, or cause aquaplaning during landing. Windstorms, especially those with strong gusts, are a considerable challenge for pilots at any time of the year. Geological events can also play a role. A terminal building or hangar collapsing from an earthquake is not an unlikely scenario. Fuel pipes laid under the airfield may be damaged or, in the worst case, catch fire. Tsunamis following seaquakes are a danger to airports on the coast.
Thanks to driver assistance systems, semi-automated vehicles can be deployed on our roads. It seems likely only a matter of time before fully automated vehicles are also rolling off the assembly lines. The vehicle keeper’s liability is not affected by the vehicle’s automation. In the event of a faulty driver assistance system, however, it is supplemented by the manufacturer’s liability. For the manufacturer of a vehicle to be held liable after a road accident is nothing new. Such cases of product liability have, for instance, been brought when the liability cover of the keeper of the vehicle that caused the accident was inadequate, a situation that is not unlikely after a serious road accident in the United States. Or if numerous similar accidents occur due to defects in a large number of vehicles.