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Ever Forward deemed seaworthy, owner questions $100m demand

After being towed to anchorage on Sunday, the Ever Forward has been examined and found to be undamaged by its month in the mud of Chesapeake Bay. However, the damage the ship might or might not have caused to the local environment looks set to be a matter for the lawyers.

“The condition of the vessel is good,” said US Coast Guard Cmdr. Baxter Smoak. “We’re lucky it grounded in soft mud.”

The Evergreen vessel is now set to pick up at the Port of Baltimore the containers that were removed as part of the salvage operation. It will then carry on with its originally planned voyage.

An investigation by the US Coast Guard into the ship’s grounding is expected to take several months to complete. The ship, under pilotage, was doing 13 knots, far faster than recommended, when it careened out of a shipping channel last month.

The Taiwanese liner is now gearing itself up for a battle with local authorities, questioning whether the ship has caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to the local environment.

The State of Maryland has asked Evergreen to establish a so-called responsibility fund to pay for costs related to the month-long grounding.

In a letter sent earlier this month to Benjamin Tsai, president of Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) Corporation, Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot asked the company to set up a $100m fund to cover the environment-related costs, as well as economic costs, in particular for the seafood industry.

The move by local politicians was quickly attacked by many Splash readers including this site’s lead columnist, Andrew Craig-Bennett, who labelled the action “shameless”, commenting: “I hope Evergreen and their P&I Club treat this attempt at blackmail with the contempt it deserves.”

“We will be fully cooperating with the investigation into what caused this incident. After this investigation has been completed, a more decisive view on accountability will be available,” Evergreen stated in an update sent to Splash.  

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.


  1. Egypt did it, now it’s the turn of Maryland. But then Taiwan knows a bit about trying to scam money for inflated environmental damage claims.

    1. Especially since it was a Maryland state pilot on board and responsible for setting the ship’s speed.

  2. Interestingly Craig Bennett worked (works?) for Asian ship owners so referencing his opinion of the charges of the local government should be deeply qualified. Is he as familiar with the fragility of Chesapeake Bay as he is the interests of the Asian ship owners?

    1. Get you! If it is so fragile then all ports should be closed and shiping banned. No agriculture should be allowed anywhere near and no human habitations. And so on.

  3. Hi,all together,the Captain of the Vessel is guilty,he ,the Pilot,and all on the Bridge,forgot her Responsebility,the Basics of Navegations in norrow Waters
    only by Sounding Control they should notice that this Event
    will come,this Size of VLCC is not a Car,need to be steered by
    the Fingertips
    Big Mistake,big Demage and very costly
    Its the second Event for Evergreen in this Year,what a Desaster at all
    Where was all the Experience from the Wheelhouse Management
    Gone with the Wind 🥸🧐👀☝️
    have a safe Voyage
    Juergen H

    1. And both occurrences were under compulsory pilotage – and in the Suez case it was the Senior Pilot who demanded the extra speed for steerage. Could that be the case here and both time the vessels sailed when wind speed had to great an effect on them?

      1. I’m amazed at the number of self appointed experts who refuse to accept the reality of what you posted.
        If pilots/ports were held responsible, as they should be, methinks things would change.

    2. No, the lesson is that pilots and port authorities need to take responsibility for their own actions.
      Also a VLCC is a Very Large Crude Carrier, this is a box boat. There are a lot of differences you know, but give the tone of your comment …………

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