ContainersGreater ChinaOperations

Winter box spill casualties return on the Pacific, Cosco ship forced to return to Asia

Brief details of the winter’s first reported box spill on the Pacific are filtering through.

Vessel tracker Fleetmon has reported the 2008-built, 4,506 teu Cosco Nagoya was forced to return to Asia after a container stack collapse at sea off Russia’s Kuril Islands. The ship was heading from Busan to Long Beach when the accident happened. The number of containers damaged or lost at sea has not been revealed yet.

The Panamanian-flagged ship turned back, arriving in Gwangyang in South Korea on November 29 as the tracking map supplied by MarineTraffic shows below. It was able to dock finally yesterday and a five-day survey is now underway, after which the decision will be made whether to send the ship for repairs in China or to allow it to continue trading.

Early indications are that this may have been quite a serious incident

The same ship had a similar accident back in 2013, when it lost 79 containers in the Atlantic.

Cargo insurer WK Webster reported yesterday: “Early indications are that this may have been quite a serious incident.”

Inclement weather last winter saw a string of box spill accidents on the Pacific resulting in insurance claims to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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. Besides just the issues of mis-declaration of cargo, poor packing and over weights, we should seriously consider the lashing bars and turn buckles used. When equipment falls into disrepair issues arise. Also need to consider the general condition of the catwalks, ladders hatches and securing points. My guess this old girl was
    making a ton of money and is in disrepair including corrosion. Sadly we will never really know.

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