ONE Apus

New details have emerged about the loss of containers overboard from the ONE Apus this week that suggest it could be the largest single container loss since the sinking of the MOL Comfort in 2013.

Yesterday ONE released a situation report saying 1,900 boxes or more could have been lost on Monday night when the vessel hit heavy weather in the Pacific.

“The vessel was on passage from Yantian to Long Beach, approximately 1,600NM north-west of Hawaii, when it encountered a violent storm cell, producing gale-force winds and large swells which caused the ONE Apus to roll heavily, resulting in the dislodging of the lost containers.

“Early investigations onboard the ONE Apus have determined that the impacted container bays remain unsafe for close-quarter inspections; however, it is estimated that the number of lost or damaged units could exceed 1,900, of which some 40 are believed to be DG [dangerous goods] containers,” the statement said.

It added that the 14,000 teu vessel had abandoned its original destination and was now “proceeding in a westerly direction towards Japan with plans to seek a suitable port to right unstable containers, assess any damages and determine the exact numbers of containers lost”.

The ONE Apus is deployed on THE Alliance’s FP2 North Europe-Asia-North America service, according to the eeSea liner database, along with 17 other 14,000 teu vessels from the ONE and Yang Ming fleets.

According to the World Shipping Council’s (WSC) Containers Lost at Sea 2020 update, an annual average of 1,382  containers were lost at sea between 2008 and 2019.

The statistics are of course skewed by catastrophic casualties, such as the 2013 sinking of the MOL Comfort that resulted in a loss of 4,293 containers; the grounding and loss of M/V Rena in 2011 that saw around 900 containers lost; and the tragic total loss of the SS El Faro in 2015 with the loss of 33 crew members and 517 containers.

However, between 2017 and 2019, the industry managed to reduce the average annual loss to 779.

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  • Gerry Cooney

    December 03, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Does anybody do lashings anymore ? I think its all due to bad lashing, it’s causing deaths at sea, there is no excuse.

    • Mike Wackett

      December 03, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      Gerry, given the increased frequency of these extreme weather events current lashing procedures may indeed need to be upgraded.

    • Firstlast

      December 03, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      Mother nature rules and synchronous rolling is hard to overcome.

      A failing is we expect humanity to overcome all contingencies.

    • Bebe Aker

      December 03, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      What about the weather? Is anyone paying attention to the forecast on the bridge?

  • Firstlast

    December 03, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    What is the actual number of containers lost; not TEU’s. Of course teu’s are a wonderful measurement It gives a bigger number.

  • Bruce Wentland

    December 03, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    This is just another fine example of bad engineering, inexperienced help “at all levels” and putting the dollar over common sense. So many today take whatever to the max limit not putting into the equation ” WHAT IF”! Rather they weigh profit vs risk, including fines and lawsuits, this kind of thinking is incomprehensible. People complain about laws and rules, this is another perfect example of why.

    • Robert Pink

      December 04, 2020 at 4:14 am

      The last time I put forward the suggestion that people should consider the “WHAT IF” scenario before committing themselves to a particular course of action, I was heavily criticised, and advised to “Get a Life,” which just goes to show that far too many people just don’t give a second thought about whether their actions will impact on the safety of others.

    • Larry

      December 04, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Bruce, shipping companies and Captains gamble. A good captain goes around the storms. They see them well in advance. They have the technology. But it costs money to be late. So they gamble. They gamble with the crew’s lives and the cargo. As an ex merchant marine, been there, done that.

    • Michael Wollmuth

      December 04, 2020 at 10:53 am

      You are right I feel there’s too many containers lost at sea which other ships and boats can be sunk by the level of containers needs to be reduced this stacking so high of containers is ridiculous it’s to maximize profit without thinking about what happens when there is an event greed greed greed they must be forced to reduce how high they stack these containers

  • Sonny

    December 04, 2020 at 6:08 am

    Just how secure are the inter container cam locks? Is there an inherent weakness of any sort? Should there be any additionnal horizontal support (cables?) on each row of containers directly to the hull or even just to tie them all together?

  • Hassan

    December 04, 2020 at 6:16 am

    There are always special prayers and supplications when on sea. May Allah protect all souls And wealth at sea.

  • M. Markandu

    December 04, 2020 at 6:16 am

    There’s no limit to the corporate greed … with IMO colluding

  • Robin Clark

    December 04, 2020 at 11:51 am

    What was in these containers

  • james b locklund

    December 04, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    maybe America and ither countries should manufacture there own products and quit using enslaved asians

    • Rob frey

      December 04, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      agree in a perfect world

    • Doug North

      December 04, 2020 at 9:50 pm

      Well said James

  • Gary Anderson

    December 04, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Ships should make sure their cargo is secured.

  • Petr Shirshin

    December 04, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    It’s not only gambling. It’s incompetence. Incompetent operators over-rely on weather routing being obliged by insurance to do so, incompetent masters lack basics in shiphandling i.a. in adverse weather.

  • John b

    December 04, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    As long as there are insurers falling over each other to insure these carriers who cares how the containers are stacked. If there was less reimbursement for these products there’d be more caretaking and shipping them. Duh!

    • Mike Wackett

      December 07, 2020 at 11:07 am

      It will be interesting to see how many of the containers lost and the remainder contributing to a probable GA were actually insured.

  • Troy R McCormack

    December 04, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    But how many ps5s were in there? That’s the real question.

  • Corey King

    December 08, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Why don’t they design the ships with heavy duty poles. Then on each end of the crate have loops welded on to slide the crates down over the poles and lock them in position!? I’m sure it’ll mess up the functioning of the ship somehow!?!? Or else they would of done it by now!?

  • Jennifer Halfhill

    December 11, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Not everything in those containers was Chinese manufactured goods heading for mass American consumption. I have been living abroad and was shipping all my personal effects home – a container has my personal pictures, gifts from students, mementos from my travels, my bike, the accumulated material of my life. Just so you know – not only corporations were affected by this and will write it off as an insurance loss.

  • Laiba Khan

    December 28, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Make sure that ships are secured. May Allah protect all souls And wealth at sea.