Date: Monday, February 22, 2021
A Maersk Line containership has lost a significant number of containers overboard while en route from China to Los Angeles, the latest in series of container loss incidents to hit the trans-pacific trade.
Maersk confirms that the Maersk Eindhoven experienced an engine failure in severe weather off the coast of Japan on February 17, resulting in a number of containers being lost overboard. The ship was underway from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles, California at the time.
The company’s partner in the 2M Alliance, MSC, reports that preliminary information from Maersk indicates that several hundred containers may have gone overboard.
An update from Maersk said the ship lost 260 containers overboard.
Maersk Eindhoven’s crew is reported safe and power has been restored to the vessel. Meanwhile, Maersk said it is working to make arrangements for the vessel to return to a port in Asia, the details of which are yet to be determined, including timing and location.
“Our preliminary reports indicate that a number of containers have been lost overboard,” Maersk said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we do not yet have the visibility into which of our customers’ containers have been lost or damaged. We are awaiting further updates from the vessel regarding potentially lost or damaged containers and will share the details once available.”
The Maersk Eindhoven incident is the latest in a growing container loss incidents to take place in the trans-Pacific trade since early November ( (One Aquila, One Apus, Ever Liberal*, Maersk Essen, MSC Aries), the most severe being the loss of nearly 2,000 containers from the ONE Apus on November 30. It also comes just a little over a month after the Maersk Essen lost some 750 containers as it was also underway from Xiamen to Los Angeles.
Similar to the Maersk Essen, Maersk Eindhoven is also deployed on Maersk’s TP6 loop and MSC’s Pearl service.
By our count, the string of incidents this season has resulted in nearly 3,000 containers lost overboard, more than double the yearly average number of containers lost.
According to the World Shipping Council, an average of 1,382 containers have been lost at sea each year since 2008, however the actual number each year can be vary greatly because of major incidents where a large number of containers are lost in a single event – like the One Apus, El Faro (2015), MOL Comfort (2013), Rena (2011), etc.
The Danish-flagged MV Maersk Eindhoven was built in 2010 and has a carrying capacity of 13,100 TEUs, which is similar in size to the other ships that have suffered container loss incidents in recent months.
“We continue to take the situation very seriously and are in the process of conducting an investigation of the incident. Preliminary findings indicate that an engine stop and loss of maneuvering in rough seas led to severe rolling as the reason for the accident,” Maersk said in its update.
The AIS animation video below shows the route of the vessel, along with speed and significant wave height data, before it made a u-turn back to Asia:
The recent container loss incidents come as imports from Asia have been pouring into U.S. ports and creating severe congestion, including at the nation’s top container ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.