Date: Friday, February 19, 2021
A.P. Møller – Maersk has confirmed yet another midocean loss of containers.
A Maersk spokesman told American Shipper that while en route from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles on Wednesday, the Maersk Eindhoven “experienced an engine stop in heavy seas near Japan during her crossing, resulting in the loss of a number of containers overboard.”
Maersk did not provide an approximate number of containers lost, only saying that “a detailed cargo assessment is ongoing.”
The Eindhoven is deployed on Maersk’s TP6 Asia-U.S. West Coast service.
Henry Byers, FreightWaves’ maritime market analyst, said, “If Xiamen was the last port of call in China on this service, then the containers from that port are most likely the ones that fell off since they were likely on top of the stack. So of all the importers, Adidas and IKEA were the most likely to lose cargo based on the amount of volume they likely had on board.”
Byers explained, “Since many U.S. importers with larger volumes utilize service contracts directly with Maersk and MSC, members of the 2M Alliance, by looking into the last three vessels that performed this service routing, FreightWaves has insight into which importers were most likely to have freight on board the Maersk Eindhoven.
“In examining the ocean bills of lading registered with U.S. Customs that arrived on the Maersk Eindhoven the last time it called the Port of Los Angeles in October of 2020 via the TP6 Asia-U.S. service, FreightWaves was able to determine that the largest volume named importers on the ship at that time were IKEA, Amazon, Adidas, Williams-Sonoma, Grainger, Wolverine World Wide, Puma and Hasbro,” Byers said.
Byers said that suggests the bulk of commodities on board the Eindhoven consist of furniture, apparel, electronics, cookware and toys.
He said according to FreightWaves data, the non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) with the largest volumes on the Eindhoven when it called LA in October were DHL Global Forwarding, C.H. Robinson, D.B. Schenker, Hecny Transportation, Topocean Consolidation Service, Damco, Kuehne + Nagel, and De Well Container Shipping.
The Maersk spokesman said Wednesday the Eindhoven “has restored propulsion and is expected to call the nearest port in Asia capable of dealing with the situation. The relevant authorities have been notified.”
That port was not identified, but available data suggests the container ship may have turned for a Japanese port. The Eindhoven had been due to arrive at the Port of LA on March 1.
“We view this as a serious situation, which will be investigated promptly and thoroughly,” the spokesman said. “Operations and vessel safety are our highest priority and we will be taking any necessary steps to minimize the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future. A customer communications plan and claims process were urgently put in place for those customers impacted.”
The Eindhoven has a capacity of 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and sails under the Danish flag.
Only last month another Maersk container ship, the Essen, lost 750 containers while sailing on the same service as the Eindhoven — the TP6 from Xiamen to the Port of LA. Heavy seas in the North Pacific were blamed in the Jan. 16 incident.
Because of port congestion in LA and Long Beach, California, the Maersk Essen changed course and sailed for the Port of Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico, where it arrived for damage assessment and an accident investigation in late January.
According to MarineTraffic, the Essen remains in Lazaro Cardenas.
The loss of containers from the Maersk Eindhoven brings the number of reported cases since just Nov. 30 to six. Even without the loss from the Eindhoven factored in, more than 2,675 containers were lost at sea in basically a two-month period. That’s more than double the annual average calculated by the World Shipping Council.
The MSC Aries lost 41 containers — reportedly all empties — in the North Pacific while sailing for Long Beach on Jan. 29. The at-sea accident was attributed to “heavy weather.”
In one of the worst cases of cargo losses on record, the ONE Apus lost 1,816 containers about 1,600 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii after reportedly sailing into a severe storm Nov. 30 while en route to the Port of Long Beach.
Taiwanese carrier Evergreen Marine’s Ever Liberal lost a reported 36 containers after encountering strong winds in the Pacific about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Kyushu, Japan, on Dec. 31. An additional 21 containers reportedly fell onto the deck.
Israeli carrier ZIM reportedly lost 76 containers from the chartered ship E.R. Tianping in January. That incident also occurred in the Pacific as the container ship was making its way from South Korea to North America.