Discharging of boxes on burnt Yantian Express will take another five weeks

German containerline Hapag-Lloyd has advised clients that it will take until the middle of April to offload all the boxes on the burnt 7,500 teu Yantian Express.

The vessel caught fire off Canada’s east coast on January 4, likely sparked from misdeclared cargo in a container. The fire quickly spread with the crew forced to evacuate and it took two weeks to douse. Hapag-Lloyd declared general average on the ship towards the end of January and tugs brought the ship to moor at Freeport in the Bahamas.

Discharge of containers continues today with Hapag-Lloyd saying in a note to clients it will take another five weeks to complete.

The German line also advised that it is exploring options with regard to the balance of the containerised cargo, which is unaffected by the fire and remains in a dry and sound condition. These boxes are not possible to offload at the vessel’s current location, a temporary yard that is meant to handle only the distressed cargo.

Additionally, and while there is a container terminal berth in the vicinity, Hapag-Lloyd said at the moment the facility does not have sufficient capacity for the sound cargo.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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