AsiaContainersFinance and Insurance

Drone survey suggests ONE Apus cargo claims could top $200m

Unloading of containers of the badly damaged ONE Apus is proceeding slowly at the Japanese port of Kobe with the operation to remove all boxes expected to take more than a month.

The 14,000 teu vessel ran into a storm in the middle of the Pacific en route to California at the start of the month resulting in the worst loss of containers since the MOL Comfort sank seven years ago. The battered ship changed course and made for Kobe, arriving there last week.

Marine claims consultancy WK Webster, which is involved in the ONE Apus case, has warned that the total cargo insurance claims could top $200m. Beyond the 1,816 containers that fell overboard in the storm there is an enormous volume of badly damaged boxes on deck.

Images from WK Webster’s drone footage taken over the magenta-hulled ship last week have now been analysed. Out of the 22 bays on deck, only six appear to have survived intact. With 20 rows per bay and with stack heights of six to eight tiers, this would equate to approximately 2,250 containers potentially impacted, mainly forty foot boxes, thus equating to around 4,500 teu.

A meeting is set to take place today to discuss whether or not to declare general average on the ship.

Over the weekend a number of floating containers were detected in the Pacific that had slid off the ONE Apus. The US Coast Guard has warned mariners to be careful when far out at sea from Hawaii.

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.


  1. Splash 4/12 – ”At an average FOB value of $25,000 per box, according to estimates from Singapore’s CTI Consultancy, the cargo claims are set to be in the region of $47.5m, while other items such as off hire and repairs will ensure the insurance bill tops $50m.”

    Seems like the original ”consultant’s” estimate overlooked a few important things such as cost of returning to port, time of vessel being out of service, recovery of damaged and collapsed containers- and even the stated average cargo value is questionable when considering the nature of the loads carried on the TP.

    1. Hi Martyn,
      The original report was based on the first reports of 1,900 lost boxes … at the time no one knew how many other containers had been damaged. Sam

  2. Good Day,
    First at all stability, lashing and vvv important weather reports ( how many times a day was received, min shoud be 4) must be checked. If the weather was bad ahed of vessel Master in normal condition have to coordinate with office , Nautical Officer. Master has overriding authority to change route change speed to avoid risk for crew vessel. Unfortunately Master is on the big preassure and due to this he must contact with office to be sure he is working properly be sure that his decision are proper and crew,vessel are never exposse for danger. He have to request advice. Office procedura means ISM shoud be checked and unfortunately both side ship and office must be checked due to vessrl was exposed for danger.

    On The past on Pacific Ocen I (vessel) was expose for danger due deley with delivery of the weather reports other time I was fighting for diff. route then route advice .I was changed for longer more S more safe
    SAFET is no.1, fuel, schedule v important but never more important than safety of the vessel and Master must now this no doubt.

    Best regards.
    Capt. (on container vessels 23y ) S Leszczak

    1. Capt.
      Yours noted with interest , especially the ISM part. I am not sure , but ISM is just a few chapters on several pages and surely it has been checked by many experts in it’s 20+ years of existence .Correct me please if I am wrong.

      I am sure You have meant SMS ( safety management system) – have You not ????

      I am not mentioning it to cause You discomfort Capt, but if You care to read previous comments on the issue of One Apus , You may notice there are lot of experts here , not trying to have a serious debate but engage rather in some beauty contest – who knows best how to repair or fix the problem without hands on experience and all the nitty -gritty associated with it?

      Allow me then , to ask You some questions as surely You are an old salt in this business worth hearing

      Would You be so kind as to explain viewers, what was the last time You exercised your master overriding authority and under what circumstances ???? Could be very interesting?

      Can You comment Capt , on the contents of the EDI file You receive from planners prior loading Your container ship????

      Having completed your loading proces and seeing all figures in Your loadicator in the GREEN ( BELOW 100%) , how much do You trust this results ?????? or You have some worries/doubts about unknowns, which be so kind to explain why if any???

      Meantime Your ch/mate has reported, that lodicator drafts are different , then observed by whooping 15 cm and Your TPC is 170 Mt. What would You do then?? Would You cancel the cargo and order discharge of top tier boxes, even if they are under one B/L or waybill, covering another 50 boxes stowed well inside the stow or even in holds thus resulting in huge extra handling fees of re-stows????

      Explain how would You estimate/calculate Your true cargo LCG basis this extra weight???
      Explain how would You establish/calculate your true GM (KG) prior leaving berth and would You delay the vessel in order to do it ????

      Recognising the fact that You have this extra weight o/b would you still trust your loadicator figures based on declared ( untrue) weights, which are all in the green at -lets say (95%) regarding : lashing forces, stack weights, racking forces , your calculated GM ,bending moments, torsion ?????? and milion other details.

      How would You debunk the loadicator figures to be 100% sure Your vessel departs berth in 100% seaworthy condition adding to it masters’s safety margin which you as master are entitled to have. ??????? ( Pls see comments section in stability booklets)

      Or would your order your ch/mate to to put this extra discovered weight into such location (TREATING IT AS CONSTANT and using gen cargo module on your loadicator) , that your new calculated draft will be exactly the same as observed as is the typical custom/practice of ignorants who do not see/recognise the difference between bending moments and trimming moments. ?????

      Where would You then place this extra weight vertically : below Your calculated KG based on declared weights , or above Your calculated KG ????? What are Ypu preferences and why???

      How sure You are Capt about the strength/condition of particular containers in the stacks/tiers and can Your OOWs check it having 7 gantries in ops and loading rate of 30+ moves per/hr/gantry???

      What was the last time You have compared the final edi file with the actual condition on board ( are all boxes in same position as agreed/approved by You prior loading) and would you be so kind to explain how You do it or why You can not do it within the hectic schedule and time constraints of port operations????

      Are You sure or do You trust completely , the VGM( verified gross mass) declarations as provided from shippers to planners and how You can check it or verify except checking your final drafts ????

      Are You sure that container stuffed in a remote factory stuffing depot in Burkina Faso , Manaus or other remote location in lets say mainland China, has been stuffed ” right and tight” and cargo inside lashed diligently according to the best industry standards making sure the box is not only road-worthy , rail-worthy but SEAWORTHY to survive the ordinary perils of the sea, which includes force 10 on B scale?????
      Do You believe the supervisor responsible for above has Your/chmate licence , knowledge and experience or similar???

      Would You agree ,that wrongly lashed steel coils or steel plates or other heavy pieces are capable of destroying the container structure and subsequently cause the collapse of the whole stack even in mild sea/swell conditions with 20 deg rolls, which is smooth sailing in North Pacific or Atlantic???? when Your figures on loadicator show GREEN and You have just completed your Voyage Plan from Yantian to Vancouver or Seattle and knowing that 72 hrs weather forecast is not better in accuracy then tossing a coin?????

      What is the value of the angle of roll , used by some lodicator types/programs to indicate winter conditions for calculation and do You agree , that for example angle of 23 deg is a bit too small ? and why You and ch/mate can not enter manually a higher value ??? – of course i am aware You may be using different programs ,, where such entry is not available and You only have a choice between ” winter/summer” conditions and only designer and class knows, what that means or what is behind it as You do not have acces to algorythm calculating it.

      In conclusion one can see , that in your decision making quite a lot depends on Your OUTMOST GOOD FAITH , trust , belief in diligence , care knowledge and application of good industry standards, by some other third parties ,starting from stuffing depot in Burkina Faso, Manaus , planners , stevedores , agents over whom neither You nor your ch. mate have absolutely no control as far as “stuffing depot- ships rail” leg of container voyage is concerned.

      Would it not be appropriate then, to claim, that the container ship master is the only master in the world ,who has absolutely no idea about the cargo his vessel is carrying ( except IMDG , Reefers and specials) , has no idea about the condition of the cargo inside the container including it’s lashing , that his lodicator final figures can be called – GARBAGE IN= GARBAGE out system

      As You can see Dear Captain , I have not started my voyage yet and already have some serious worries and doubts . But since You are so keen to exercise Your overriding authority by consulting with …………………whom ????? can You be more specific ?????

      Does overriding authority then ,not exclude “consulting” ? as I thought overriding means making a decision basis your practical, theoretical experience and legal status . ( Legal in bold letters and underlined) and INFORMING office about your decisions , as otherwise in my subjective opinion You relinquish your command by consulting with- in most cases UNLICENCED personel in Your crewing or technical management as not many captains and chief mates ( YOUR PEERS) are left there.
      Wish You smooth sailing Captain and may the force of Your overriding authority always be with You.

      I accept and respect the opinion of others, that I am or may be am absolutely wrong regarding above but then rebuttal would be a proper form of expressing it based on meritorious arguments instead of serving lengthy and coloured resumes and quoting unverified sea experience .

      Since my original first comment has been removed by sensors, then pls note as follows:
      I understand , that posting disturbing /unwanted comments or inconvenient truth, may hurt feeling and EGOs of some Splash247 readers -mostly ( CEOs) and removing the contents or even whole articles seems to be the most preferable modus operandi of editors hired sensors.

      Observed with regret though , that not all posting deregattory, racial biased and discriminating opinions as to nationality , background of others , have their comments removed.

      What indicates , that all are equal but some preferred personalities here are more equal then others. Some forgot , that what pops on the web, stays there until hell freezes over as with one click of the finger the article with its comments can be saved or printed for future use and reference. My memory is a bit hazy but one pundit here gave me quite an impressive lecture on what journalism and news are : to inform and not to manipulate.

      Simple disclaimer can do the job as in below example:
      The authors’ views expressed in this article/comments section do not necessarily reflect the views of XYZ and XYZ does not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views/comments constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader..
      Have a good night.

      1. Alias Volt
        My personal impression is, your comment does not look like 1 Volt but rather like 10 000 Volts and as per my experience , all seem to be valid questions. Unfortunately I have not seen Your allegedly deleted original comment. Pity.

        However , wonder if You have noticed , that according to article, drones can do an accurate survey of damaged containers.
        From other sources one may find , that same technology is used to survey bulkies to confirm readiness for loading , some attempts are made to survey tanks , what may finally remove the scare of unwanted deaths in difficult to access enclosed spaces, what seems to be a huge worry for some.

        Some boast even delivering packages on tankers with mail and even cookies as I saw it done on Maersk ship two or so years ago, and I saw a famous Utube prank picturing a drone visiting and inspecting Her Majesty aircraft carrier under the noses of majestically non-vigilant guards.

        Trust or rather suspect, the magnificent display of this copter like craft capabilities, has not escaped the attention of nefarious terrorist minds, planning future terrorist attacks by dropping incendiary or explosive bombs on tankers on Singapore roads or some other busy shipping lanes. Could be interesting.

        But I am sure SMS will take good care of this with good and expert office advise. One extra “drone” drill should not be a problem ,not to forget ” drone detection check list”

        Having said that , don’t You find it surprising that CEOs , managers and other pundits in container fleets have not figured out yet , that same marvellous technology could be used inspecting the lashing, proper closing of t’locks in places above 5th tier and up to 10th tier.

        Forgive me for allowing my imagination run away a little, but i can imagine the same drone scanning the container numbers giving me the exact tally, what has been loaded and it’s exact location , so I can compare it with edi plan delivered by port and immediately request the port to correct all inconsistencies regarding lashing and correct stowing issues. Even external condition of the box for-and aft end, could be assessed , not to mention the contents of CSC plate if sighted, to determine it is ISO container or not ( of course this crazy idea can only be applied to deck loads – but it is mostly deck cargo, that is washed away or catapulted into space due to excessive accelerations..

        It would provide the master with conclusive evidence , that the port has done something wrong , would be a perfect supporting evidence for letter of protest , great help to explain to greatly perturbed and alarmed technical superintendent or other , why vessel must not leave port and why she is being delayed.
        I see here plenty of goodies . Last but not least , what a boost and support to vacillating rookie master courage, to exercise his overriding authority declaring with authority , that the vessel is not in seaworthy condition due to bad cargo stowage and wrong lashing – hence it must stay alongside until all is rectified to his complete satisfaction. Surely it is better this way then seeing 2000 boxes waterborne or exploding in spectacular fireball .

        Less exposure of OOWs to covid hidden carriers among stevedores may also be one of advantages although not related to stowing and lashing.

        The most important thing is ,it will at least solve two unresolved so far problems You were so kind to mention in your above comment and questions. Correct final stowage as agreed prior loading and truly reflecting what is contained in edi file , correct application of lashing in accordance with Container Securing Manual, insurance guys giving a sigh of relief due to lesser exposure etc, etc etc.

        Surely drones will not solve the mis-declared weights/contents issue ( i hate this euphemism)-mis-declared0 , hence wrongly declared weights issue . But i am thinking on it. Time to leave sextant at home and by me some cool drone with extra batteries and real cool joystick panel and tablet holder. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
        Cheers Mr 10 000 Volt

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