FILE PHOTO: The Maersk Essen enters the port of Los Angeles en route to APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles, California USA. Photo: Maersk

Maersk Essen Re-Routes to Mexico After Losing 750 Containers Overboard

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 15187
January 22, 2021

The Maersk Essen has been re-routed to Mexico after the ship lost approximately 750 containers overboard during its voyage from China to the U.S. West Coast last week.

A spokesperson for Maersk has confirmed that the will call at APM Terminals Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico on January 29. Upon arrival, the vessel will undergo cargo survey, port operations and initial repair.

The 13,200-TEU was en route from Xiamen, China to Los Angeles, California when it lost an estimated 750 containers overboard in heavy seas on January 16, 2021. All crew members are reported safe.

The vessel initially planned to continue its voyage to Los Angeles, but Automatic Identification System (AIS) data overnight showed the vessel is now headed to Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.

The Maersk Essen incident is the latest of at least four significant container loss incidents to take place in the trans-Pacific trade since early November, highlighted by the loss of nearly 2,000 containers from the ONE Apus on November 30. As a result, the incidents have prompted calls for carriers to urgently review container lashing practices and stack height restrictions.

Credit: World Shipping Council

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.

WSC’s latest survey of containers lost at sea, issued in 2020, showed that the number of containers lost each year was actually trending down, mainly because of fewer major incidents during the latest survey period (2017-2019).

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