Maersk Essen tipped for swift service reintroduction

Maersk has given clients hope their delayed shipments on the 13,100 teu Maersk Essen may get to Los Angeles within a couple of weeks.

The ship suffered the fourth reported box spill in the Pacific this winter, losing around 750 boxes overboard in a storm on January 16. Since then, a fifth Pacific spill, involving the MSC Aries, has also been reported.

Rather than heading to congested Los Angeles as planned, the Maersk Essen was rerouted to APM Terminals Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico, arriving last week.

Unlike the ONE Apus, the Japanese ship with the biggest losses this winter, Maersk is anticipating a relatively quick stay in Mexico before its chartered-in vessel rejoins its regular service.

The ship is undergoing standard discharge of damaged containers and weather-related repairs at the moment.

“Our current plan shows the vessel is scheduled to depart February 12-16 (subject to change) for Los Angeles, resuming regular TP6 string scheduled calls,” Maersk stated in an update this week.

The ONE Apus, by contrast, is still moored at the Japanese port of Kobe, remaining in situ for nearly two months. The magenta-coloured vessel suffered an extraordinary loss of more than 1,800 boxes overboard plus many more damaged on deck on November 30 during another storm in the Pacific. The ship rerouted to Japan, limping into port on December 8, where efforts to unload damaged boxes and fix the vessel have been proceeding very slowly ever since.

Around 3,000 containers have been lost overboard in the Pacific in the space of less than two months this winter. Yesterday Splash reported on the most recent incident with the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries losing 41 boxes last week while en route to Ningbo from Long Beach.

One company touting a solution in retrieving all the bobbing boxes is Israeli IoT firm Loginno. Loginno has just announced a new feature, allowing its smart containers to augment their sonar footprint, effectively triggering a much easier detection of dangerous submerged shipping containers, by a standard vessel’s sonar system.

Amit Aflalo, Loginno co-founder, commented: “This small but very important addition to our AGAM device, will introduce a low-frequency sonar beacon to our smart containers, allowing more than a month of a continuous lost-at-sea mode. In this mode, every standard sonar system will be able to detect the shipping container loud and clear, from miles away and up to 96 meters in depth; well beyond the usual range. In addition, every container will be fitted with a unique identifier, allowing the owner of the container quick identification of its containers in the recovery process.”

The spate of lost containers in the Pacific was analysed at length in the latest issue of Splash Extra, which launched last week.

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. Press is looking far into the future . But I am not surprised . Some time ago I read a statement here ,from a gentleman, who was stunned by the Bon Voyage weather routeing and assisting system. Well honestly I was stunned by it too but 20 years ago. The gent must have been in some deep freeze for long time and have just been awakened.

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