Maersk containers

Maersk boxship loses hundreds of containers after suffering engine failure

Maersk Eindhoven, a 2010-built Newpanamax containership operated by Maersk, lost several hundreds of containers following an engine stop in harsh weather.

Illustration; Image credit Maersk

The incident took place near Japan on February 17th, 2021, while the boxship was en route from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles, California.

“The preliminary advice from the vessel operator suggests that several hundred containers have been lost overboard, although we have not yet been informed whether any MSC customer cargo was impacted,” MSC, Maersk’s 2M partner, said.

Maersk said that all crew members have been reported to be safe and the ship’s propulsion has been restored.

“Our preliminary reports indicate that a number of containers have been lost overboard. Unfortunately, we do not yet have the visibility into which of our customers’ containers have been lost or damaged. We are awaiting further updates from the vessel regarding potentially lost or damaged containers and will share the details once available,” Maersk said in an advisory.

The liner major said it was currently assessing nearest suitable port options in Asia to berth Maersk Eindhoven.

The 13,092 TEU containership is deployed on 2M’s Transpacific 6, Pearl service.

The incident is being reported on the back of a similar incident suffered by Maersk Essen vessel last month.

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It is estimated that about 750 containers fell overboard from the Denmark-flagged containership in rough weather in the North Pacific.

The incident occurred while the 13,100 TEU Maersk Essen was sailing from Xiamen, China to Los Angeles, California, on January 16th, 2021.

Maersk is, unfortunately, one of the several companies that have experienced similar incidents with their containerships over the recent period, raising multiple questions about the potential structural problems related to container stowage.

Specifically, at least three other incidents involving container spills from large containerships have been reported including ONE Apus, ONE Aquila, operated by the Ocean Network Express, and Evergreen’s Ever Liberal.

To remind, Japanese-flagged containership ONE Apus lost around 1,816 units overboard in a Pacific storm in 2020.

The staggering figure of affected containers makes the incident one of the worst cases of container losses not involving groundings, collisions, or sinking of vessels.