ISU today published its annual statistics for 2021:

• Gross revenue for ISU members – US$ 391 million (2020, US$ 301 million)
• 189 services provided (2020, 182 services)
• Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF) – 29 cases (2020, 40). LOF revenue up at US$ 122 million (2020, US$ 60 million)
• Wreck removal income – US$ 108 million from 56 services (2020, US$ 98 million from 101 services)

All numbers are gross income from which all the contractors’ costs must be paid.

ISU President, Captain Nicholas Sloane, said: “The 2021 ISU statistics show a 26 per cent increase in the income received by our members compared with the previous year. Emergency Response services generated US$ 242 million split almost equally between LOF and other contracts – US$ 122 million and $120 million respectively.

‘’Wreck removal income has stayed very similar to the previous year and is still down on the historic proportion of our members’ income – some 50 per cent% – which wreck removal typically represents.

“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.

“The numbers in this survey reflect the period when the world was still fully contending with the Covid pandemic which made operations and logistics more
challenging. Throughout those difficult times ISU members showed time and again their problem solving and willingness to overcome obstacles to provide services to their clients, the shipowners, and their insurers. And, taken alongside the ISU’s pollution prevention statistics, these numbers demonstrate a dynamic industry which most years performs some 200 salvage services.

“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.”

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

Revenue in 2021 from operations conducted under contracts other than LOF was US$ 120 million, effectively the same as in 2020 (US$ 119 million). The average revenue from each non-LOF contract was therefore US$ 750,000.

Wreck removal is an important source of income for members of the ISU but 2021, with US$ 108 million from 56 operations (28 per cent of the total income), showed the same trend as 2020 (US$ 98 million received from 52 services – 33 per cent of the total).

The ISU statistics are collected from all ISU members by a professional third party, which aggregates and analyses them. The statistics do not include the revenues of non-ISU members but are the only formal measure of the state of the marine salvage industry. The statistics are for income received in the relevant year but that can include revenue relating to services provided in previous years and there can be an element of “time lag”. The statistics are for gross revenues from which all of the salvors’ costs must be met.