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 Updates on Transpacific Ships’ Return to Service After Cargo Losses

Mike Schuler
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February 23, 2021

Maersk is providing updates on its two ships that lost a significant number of containers overboard in the Pacific Ocean recently.

First up is Maersk Essen which lost some 750 containers overboard in heavy weather back on January 16. Maersk now reports that port operations at APM Terminals Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico have been completed and the ship was cleared to sail on February 22.

The vessel is now sailing to its original destination at the Port of Los Angeles where it is scheduled to berth at APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles on March 4. The vessel is expected to sail at full-speed during the 3-day voyage in order to keep its itinerary.

“The situation is subject to change based on the number of vessels waiting but our plan is to make every effort to advance her in the waiting line for an earlier ETA,” Maersk said in its latest update.

Next up is Maersk Eindhoven which lost some 260 containers overboard after a brief loss of propulsion in heavy seas on February 17 approximately 45 nautical miles off northern Japan. Another 65 containers are reported damaged. Maersk said today that the vessel is in Japanese waters awaiting authorities permission for transit to APM Terminals Yokohama, where repairs are expected to be made.

Company surveyors and salvors were on board the ship on Monday to assess the damage.

Maersk reports that the ship’s engine and seaworthiness is in “good working order” and in port repairs will address some steel railings and inspection of hatch covers, as well as anything else that the surveyors might find. “At this point in time, we have ensured that all replacement materials and welding activities can be performed in port. This is subject to change in the event our inspection and survey process finds new items to repair,” Maersk said.

Similar to Maersk Essen, Maersk said it plans to return the Maersk Eindhoven to service as soon as possible and it should have a better estimate for its return in the following days.

“Once the vessel is in port and surveyed, we will have more specific details on the extent of damaged containers and the amount of time required to fix the vessel and determine the cargo contingency options,” the company said.

The Maersk Essen and Maersk Eindhoven container losses are two in a string of similar incidents to hit the trans-pacific trade since November. The vessels are sister ships in the Maersk Edinburgh-class of 13,100 TEU-capacity ships. Both are registered in Denmark and operated by Maersk on the company’s Transpacific 6 Asia-US West coast service calling at Los Angeles.

The incidents comes as containerships carrying goods from Asia are pouring into U.S. ports amid the pandemic-fueled cargo boom, hence the urgency for the vessels to return to service.

Meanwhile, Japanese line Ocean Network Express (ONE) says its ONE Apus, which lost an epic 1,816 containers overboard back on November 30, could return to service as soon as mid-March after cargo operations finish in Kobe, Japan.

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