International design codes for seagoing steel ships of today are in the process of testing a new safety format with load factors separately multiplied with nominal (code) values of still water and wave loads. This leads to two design values of these loads, the sum of which must not exceed a design value of the strength of the ship structure, which is again a nominal (code) value of strength, this time divided by a strength factor. Such load and strength factors are generally termed partial safety factors. In the paper, vertical still water and wave bending moments of containerships are considered as loads. The partial safety factors are determined on the basis of reliability analysis, i.e., the sum of the design values of the loads will not exceed a design serviceability limit state of the ship’s structure with given probability. To enable reliability analysis, distribution density of the ship’s strength to resist bending moments is based on a stochastic interpretation of nominal (code) values used in the conventional safety format. The probability density of the still water bending moment is obtained from recently published statistical data. The probability density of the wave bending moment is calculated using advanced hydrodynamic and spectral analysis, including long-term statistics of the (North Atlantic) seaway. Reliability and related design values are estimated using the FORM algorithm with due consideration of the different repetition numbers for which the stochastic models of the two bending moments are valid. The results are presented as nonlinear regression formulas and as diagrams that specify partial safety factors related to length and beam of containerships. The nominal values of bending moments to be used with these partial safety factors are given as functions of length, beam, and block coefficient of those ships.

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