Photo: Illustration; Image by ONE

Removal of dislodged containers from ONE Apus expected to take over a month

The removal of the dislodged containers from the ONE Apus containership under a schedule formulated by stowage planners is expected to take over a month, the Ocean Network Express (ONE) said.

The removal of the remaining containers on deck was launched following permission from the Japanese Coast Guard, the company informed in an update on December 11.

The containership remains berthed in the Port of Kobe after losing estimated 1,816 containers overboard when it encountered severe weather on November 30, 2020. Some 64 containers of those damaged or lost are believed to contain dangerous cargo.

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The 14,052 TEU containership, built in 2019, was en route from Yantian, China to Long Beach, USA when it encountered gale-force winds and large swells around 1,600 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii.

The master rerouted the ship out of safety reasons toward Japan.

“Once unloaded, each will be assessed, and when the discharge of cargo is complete, there will be a full assessment of damage to the vessel and subsequent repairs. A thorough investigation is being conducted into this incident in conjunction with the Flag State and the relevant maritime authorities,” ONE said.

“As the discharge operation and investigation are expected to take some time, further updates will only be provided on an as-needed basis.”

Chidori Ship Holding LLC owns the ship, which is managed by NYK Shipmanagement Pte Ltd and chartered by ONE.

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.