Russell analysis reveals Mercedes has significant exposure to Freemantle Highway Fire
A fire on the Fremantle Highway ship off the Dutch coast is expected to expose Mercedes-Benz to at least $13 million (£10 million) in economic loss according to analysis by Russell, a data and analytics company.
Mercedes had previously announced it had 350 vehicles on board the vessel, which caught fire after leaving Bremerhaven, where it was en-route to Port Said, Egypt.
The ship is carrying 2,857 vehicles on board, with 25 being electric vehicles.
News sources are reporting the Dutch coastguard spokesman’s comments that the fire had started near the electric vehicles.
Suki Basi, Russell Group MD, commented on the news:
“If the cause of the fire turns out to have been started by an electric vehicle, this will be a similar scenario to the Felicity Ace incident. The incident again raises questions surrounding the perils of shipping electric vehicles (EVs), and the flammable nature of EVs that contain lithium-ion batteries.
The main perils of these batteries are fire and explosion that can cause conflagrations that burn for days and are difficult to extinguish.
While the risks are known in the insurance industry, there will have to be a wider discussion about pre-emptive measures to prevent this sort of event re-occurring, such as having dedicated ro-ro vessels for EV’s.
Using our ALPS Scenario Factory, we identified that Mercedes has a significant economic exposure to this event, running into the millions.
With so much uncertainty in the global trade landscape, corporate entities and their insurers will need more accurate near real-time data combined with a strong analytical interpretation of those insights to ensure that they steer a path through potential disruption.”