freighter

A.P. Moller-Maersk

A/S lost several hundred containers in the Pacific Ocean while traveling from China to Los Angeles. This is the latest in a string of incidents where cases involving millions of dollars worth of goods have gone overboard.

The company stated that Maersk Essen, which has a capacity of more than 13,000 containers, has lost its capacity of the 16. Mid-January to the Chinese port of Xiamen for a transpacific voyage, about 750 units.

All crew members are safe and a detailed assessment of the cargo is underway as the ship continues to sail, Maersk said in a statement Thursday. The United States Coast Guard, the flag state and the competent authorities were notified. We consider this to be a very serious situation which will be investigated quickly and thoroughly. A.P. Moller-Maersk is based in Copenhagen and the ship flies the Danish flag.

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Report on logistics

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Several container ships have lost a large number of boxes overboard in recent months in a series of accidents that maritime industry officials say are on the decline.

The container ship One Apus, operated by Singapore-based Ocean Network Express, lost about 2,000 boxes in November when it was hit by a storm off Hawaii while en route from Yantian, China, to Long Beach, California. The ship eventually sailed to the Japanese city of Kobe, where hundreds of overturned containers are on board and will remain there for repairs and investigations into the cause of the incident.

Those involved in the investigation have stated that One Apus’ claims could exceed $220 million.

Depositing containers on the One Apus berthed in Kobe after losing about 2,000 containers in November.

Photo:

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg News

Loss of boxes during storms is relatively rare, but the number of incidents has increased this winter, especially in the Pacific.

Earlier this month, 76 containers fell from a ship belonging to the Israeli company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. on the route from South Korea to North America. On Dec. 31, a box ship Ltd. of the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine Corp. lost about 40 containers off the coast of Japan while crossing the Pacific Ocean.

The engineers involved in the probes say they are looking for typical causes, such as. B. Defects in the fastening systems that hold the containers together. However, as ships become larger and containers are stacked like multi-storey buildings, pitch and roll can put pressure on ship stability.

This is called parametric roll and can occur when the waves meet at an angle rather than nose to nose. The ship moves in sync with the waves, which, combined with the normal inclination of the ship while underway, can move the cargo, explains Fotis Pagoulatos, a naval architect based in Athens.

Maritime officials say ship operators are considering installing sensors that could provide sea alerts to prevent parametric rolling.

Logistics report details

The more you stack the boxes on the deck, the more force they undergo as the ship moves through the waves, and that can be a factor, especially since the recent boom in demand has meant that all ships are filled to full capacity, he said.

Lars Jensen,

CEO of the Danish company SeaIntelligence Consulting.

Yannis Sgouras, an experienced Greek captain, said the threat can come without warning even if the waves are not very high. If you don’t notice it in time and change course, the ship could roll from side to side as it continues, and things will fall off, he said.

The Marine Insurance Branch reports that some 3,000 containers have been lost at sea in the past two months.

The World Shipping Council, the Washington-based trade body representing the liner shipping industry, found in a July report that an average of 1,382 containers were lost at sea each year between 2008 and 2019.

Write to Costas Paris at [email protected]

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