Cargo Operations to Begin on Maersk Honam Next Week

maersk honam fire
The ultra-large containership Maersk Honam on fire in the Arabian Sea.

The Maersk Honam is scheduled to berth at the Port of Jebel Ali next week where the operation to discharge cargo will finally begin nearly three months after the giant containership was hit by a major fire in the Indian Ocean.

Maersk Line’s 2M partner MSC reported Tuesday that Maersk Honam’s berthing is currently confirmed for next Tuesday, May 22, and the discharging operations of all sound container will be undertaken immediately.

Discharge operations are expected to take between 4 to 7 days, the company said. 

Earlier this week, MSC reported that hotspots still burning on the ship have “almost” been extinguished as salvors continue work aboard the vessel at an anchorage off Jebel Ali. 

Unfortunately for customers with surviving cargo, it could still be quite some time (and costly) before cargo finally reaches its intended destination. 

According to MSC, salvors demanded this week a salvage security in the amount of 42.5% of the Cost, Insurance and Freight of all cargo on board, plus an additional 11.5% required as a General Average deposit.

Separately, Mediterranean Shipping Company on Thursday has requested from its customers with surviving cargo an additional fee to “cover all additional transshipment, storage and on-carriage costs MSC will face as the result of this regrettable casualty,” MSC said in a statement. The amount requested is $750 USD per 20-foot container and $1,250 USD per 40-foot. 

Maersk Honam Background

The 353-meter Maersk Honam caught fire in Arabian Sea on March 6 during a voyage from Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal, tragically claiming the lives of five crew members. The vessel was eventually towed to an anchorage at Jebel Ali where it arrived last month.

Due the substantial cargo loss from the fire, shipowner Maersk Line was forced to declare general average, meaning that all losses, including salvage, port, and transfer costs, are shared between surviving cargo.

Smit and Ardent are the appointed salvors in the response. Richards Hogg Lindley has been appointed to collect the necessary GA security.

The Maersk Honam was reported by Maersk to be carrying a total of 7,860 containers, corresponding to 12,416 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) when the fire broke out.