AsiaContainersFinance and Insurance

Insurance claims from ONE Apus box spill set to top $50m

The total insurance bill from the ONE Apus box spill this week is set to top $50m. More than 1,900 containers – including around 40 boxes containing dangerous goods – tumbled into the Pacific Ocean on Monday as the Japanese boxship encountered a violent storm cell en route to America.

The Ocean Network Express (ONE) ship has now turned around and is headed to the Japanese port of Kobe, set to arrive on Tuesday. Fortunately no crew were injured during the storm and the heavy rolling of the magenta-coloured ship.

“Once berthed, it’s expected to take some time to offload the dislodged containers that remain on board. Then a thorough assessment will be made on the exact number and type of containers that have been lost or damaged,” ONE said in its latest update on the accident.

The accident is the worst loss of boxes at sea since the MOL Comfort sank seven years ago. The annual average number of containers lost at sea around the world for the years 2017 through 2019 numbered 779, according to the World Shipping Council, providing some perspective on the scale of Monday’s accident.

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. The ship is insured by the Japan P&I Club with its cargo insurance also coming from a Tokyo-based insurer.

The US Coast Guard yesterday issued a warning to Hawaii mariners as a precautionary measure to ensure vigilance when far out to sea.

A sistership, ONE Aquila, suffered a similar accident on October 30 this year, also while en route to Long Beach. The ship lost around 100 containers and diverted to Tacoma and had a few days of repairs before rejoining ONE’s network on November 11. Both the ONE Aquila and ONE Apus were built at Japan Marine United’s Kure shipyard.

In March last year, another ONE vessel, the 8,614 teu Helsinki Bridge, also lost a number of containers overboard while heading from Boston to Wilmington in the US.

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. Well it was to be expected after MSC Zoe loss of containers during coastal leg in shallow water conditions.
    Now we have a proof that ULCV are also vulnerable in mid ocean conditions generated by powerful and rapidly developing weather systems.

    From APL China to One Apus it looks we have a rapid progression not only in vessel dimensions but in number of boxes lost at sea. Not bad.Not bad at all.

    On the picture smuggled by crew member, who should be fired immediately for violation of confidentiality clause , one can see a stow debacle which rises a question of cargo-worthiness .

    CMA CGM Libra was declared by distinguished judge as not seaworthy vessel upon beginning of her voyage , because allegedly her voyage plan was not diligently created by not having some stupid art forms called ” no go areas”, plotted and by not putting the full text of preliminary correction but only a note that such correction existed and was valid. This allowed some cargo interests to avoid payment of contribution as General Average was declared.

    In view of above one can expect a valid question in this case: was this vessel seaworthy at the beginning and during the voyage or was it a force majeure in action here, when according to preliminary reports only gale force winds were reported.


      1. Alias Capt.J
        1. Confidentiality cl- no kidding. U never heard of it?? Now U have heard.
        Guess U have never heard about owners/managers media handling policy ?? Stay assured , there is no procedure there, allowing cretins, who do not understand that their flash of media glory may cause more harm then good, while ratting and snitching to media and other third parties, showing details of any accident in a work place. Such news can only be handled in controlled manner by professional staff responsible for media contact.

        2………AND U WANT HIM FIRED !!
        without blinking an eye disciplinary procedure including dismissal in case he was informed prior joining and got familiarised , otherwise warning letter and training .

        3. THE BOXES WERE NOT LASHED /STOWED CORRECTLY. ITS PRETTY SIMPLE.- simpleminded people see simplified world around them , others may notice complications , variations, ask questions and since thinking is difficult , that is why most people judge.

        4. If U have come to the conclusion , that U know everything , you have been misinformed.
        Gard Guidance on Freight Containers
        to see how many things can go wrong apart from lashing/stowing

        Get savvy , otherwise do not pls knock at my door again with your ideas, which I respectfully and humbly accept but do not share.

        1. You may be right.

          But consider the irony. The “owner” wants allegiance to his ship, company, and his business. At a time when box ship owners are making a mint while their crews are imprisoned onboard and cannot get relief and go home … maybe the crew was purposely doing this in a nefarious scheme to actually be sent home after being fired !?!?!? Ha ha ha!

          I have zero sympathy for the owner.

          These ships obviously can’t handle heavy weather anywhere. This has become apparent with every new accident they are having, in greater frequency. Too much cargo onboard such a big ship while using antiquated old style lashings.

          Questioning its seaworthiness upon departure is a great discussion our entire industry should be having. Even though it’s after the fact, eh?

          1. Alias Capt. Ed Enos.
            Well Mr. Enos… ha ha ha. I like Your style of thinking/reasoning.
            Owners have always made some mint – more or less, but they have.
            Crews have always been imprisoned on board irrespective of pandemic or not. One can not leave at any time while at sea or even in port. Would You agree?

            As to another part of Your comment there is a flipside to the coin You have tossed at me. If we follow this chain of thought regarding nefarious schemes , then one may be inclined and justified to hypothesise , that Master of Wakashio beached his vessel due to the very same reason but failed to achieve intended purpose of going home. Hypothesising further , one may suggest, that the master of MT New Diamond has caused boiler explosion, then fire of his vessel, to be airlifted ashore and then, accused of causing pollution, while his vessel was under salvors care and as a result paid 60 grands for his ticket home.
            Would You not agree then , that such hypothesis may put one on a very thin ice. ??

            Any theory is good when it can be proven. So irony or not, yours is still a hypothesis.

            I see a need to split now , so forgive me for the interruption, as I see in the comments the slow build up of coalition , hence need to save some ammo for expected broadsides from more sneaky and devious interlocutors, who seem to be greatly irritated and perturbed by my initial input.
            Have enjoyed so far our conversation.Thank You . Cheers.

  2. The practice of loading containers so far forward and so high is simply a matter of greed, and the various elements in the industry set up to arbitrate losses proceeding from that greed can be left to clean up the legal and financial consequences themselves. But they don’t own the oceans, the environment and the lives of the crews jeopardized by that greed, nor the lives of crews of smaller vessels who are equally jeopardized by it. It is high time governments got involved and brought some sanity to a market that often seems out of cntrol. The IMO should mandate limits on the number of containers carried above deck, their positioning and protective structures, and seasonal restrictions similar to the Timber and WNA Load Lines. The above writer, who reveals his fealty to the commercial aspect of the industry, also echoes it’s totalitarian mentality by wanting to sanction a seafarer who takes a photograph of this disaster. Since all the key players inside the industry are entitled to photographs, the only agency he is concerned to keep ignorant is the general public via the world’s media. This is probably the reason why the general public has been kept ignorant of such environmental threats.
    A developed-world seafarer enjoying trade union and civil rights protection could never be intimidated in the same way their developing world brothers on f.o.c. ships are intimidated. Flagging out and employing cheap crews is merely another manifestation of the greed that infects international seaborne trade.

  3. Good day,
    I am fully agree with Slawomir Palenda.
    Basis our company policy, Photo uploaded by crew member definitely breached confidentiality clause in their signed contract.

    Presume this tragic incident would have avoided, if weather routine service provider provided vessel with more weather protected passage. It may not be reasonable, but truth in these days is vessels must follow weather routine service provided recommended
    route/ passage, otherwise there will be consequences for additional time/bunker losses, claims ,etc.
    So ,most of the liner service Masters will stick with recommended route without question much to avoid much explanations.
    Doubt it, route that selected by One Apus is not by Master. Brgds

    1. Capt. A.K.
      Re . routing service.
      After Hill Harmony court ruling regarding choice of route, I received from DPA of technical management a circular letter instructing ALL FLEET MASTERS of time chartered vessels , to strictly comply with weather service recommendations.

      I believe many masters received similar B.S . While it may have a freezing effect on young greenhorns -rookies , the old salts natural reaction was to shrug it off . But not by all.

      Standy by BROTHER for further developments on this particular news joint as I am going to expose a pompous Queenly HOMO IGNORAMUS , who is dishing out here PONCTIFICAL SERMONS puffed up with vanity; laced with overblown oratory, and filled with pseudo-scientific gobbledygook and pontifical hooey and who seems to be a key dancer in this Muppet Show . You will be entertained.

      Smooth sailing Bro.

  4. I think its impossible to prevent ships crew from posting some photos theses days as Wifi is available on board. I dont see any harm on the photo posted by the crew, at least the public know which company is unsafe for safe carriage of their goods.
    It would be worthwhile to know the exact reasons for this Disaster. Mostly it might be due to Lashing and Stowage problems.
    NYKShipmanagement is know for putting Officers of the Rank of Captain and Chief Officers with little experience or who have been ashore for many years with little practical experience of ships and cargo handling.

  5. mmh interesting to read the comments… I can only speak from the point of view of sailors sailing recreational vessels and from this perspective it surely is a nightmare. Also can not imagine that marine life is particularly amused (too bad they can’t write comments). I would assume there are plenty of measures that could be taken to minimize the risk of such events occurring and can’t see any reasonable excuse for not taking them.

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