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Salvage Industry Saw ‘Modest’ Revenue Recovery in 2021

Photo shows the fire on board the X-Press Pearl in May 2021. Photo: Sri Lanka Ports Authority

Salvage Industry Saw ‘Modest’ Revenue Recovery in 2021

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1752
July 15, 2022

International salvors saw a modest recovery in gross revenues in 2021 despite challenging economic conditions and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Salvage Union (ISU) said Friday.

ISU members conducted 189 operations in 2021 generating gross revenues $391 million, up from $301 million in 2020.

“The 2021 ISU statistics show a 26 percent increase in the income received by our members compared with the previous year,” said ISU President, Captain Nicholas Sloane. “Emergency Response services generated US$ 242 million split almost equally between [Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF)] and other contracts – US$ 122 million and $120 million respectively.”

Wreck removal income hit $108 million from 56 operations (or services), up from $98 million in 2020 when 101 services were rendered. Wreck removal in 2021 represented just 28% of ISU members’ total income, below the historic proporation of 50%.

“Economic conditions are challenging and activity and income for our industry is volatile year-on-year. The general trend towards a smaller number of larger and more complex cases enhances that annual variability,” Captain Sloane added.

The 2021 ISU statistics show a historic low level of LOF cases – 29 total for ISU members – generating income of $122 million. This compares with 40 cases worth $60 million in 2019. Revenue from LOF cases amounted to 50% of all emergency response revenue and LOF cases accounted for 15% of emergency response cases in 2021. SCOPIC revenue at $41 million in 2021 was up from $24 million previously.

Revenue in 2021 from operations conducted under contracts other than LOF was $120 million, effectively the same as in 2020.

“Professional salvors protect the environment, reduce risk and mitigate loss. They also keep trade moving – which is demonstrated so clearly when there are large containership cases. We continue to work closely with key stakeholders to ensure that there is continued global provision of professional salvage services,” Captain Sloane said.


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