containership has become the latest giant boxship to lose containers overboard
in the Pacific Ocean.
MSC informs containers lost were empty
firm WK Webster reports that the MSC Aries lost about 41 containers overboard
as it sailed from Long Beach, California to China on January 29. MSC has since
confirmed the incident and informs that the containers lost were all empty.
deployed on the Sequoia service on voyage US053S, met with heavy weather while
en route from Long Beach to Ningbo,” MSC said in a statement, as reported by
Splash247.com. “A limited number of empty containers were impacted and initial
reports from the vessel suggest that no cargo was spilled overboard.”
MSC reports that
the vessel is expected to berth at the Port of Ningbo on or around February 3,
where a cargo assessment will take place.
The incident the fifth container loss incident since November
The incident is at
least the fifth container loss incident to be reported in the trans-pacific
since November (One Aquila, One Apus, Ever Liberal*, Maersk Essen and now MSC
Aries), the worst incident being the MV One Apus which lost nearly 2,000
containers overboard on November 30.
Out of the bunch,
MSC Aries is the only one that was returning to Asia at the time and the
containers lost were reported to be empty, a result of the COVID-induced trade
imbalance that has led to a record number of empty containers being shipped
empty back to Asia.
The incidents called for urgent review of container lashing practices
The incidents have
led to increased calls for an urgent review of container lashing practices and
talk of even stack height restrictions.
MSC Aries is a
14,300 TEU-capacity containership built in 2020 and registered in Portugal.
Earlier this year,
the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) launched a targeted safety
campaign promoting proper cargo securing arrangements after a spate of cargo
loss incidents off its shores. In those incidents, the AMSA said “rusted cargo
securing points, improper lashings and exceeding stack weight limits” were
determined to be contributing factors based on investigations thus far.
*Ever Liberal lost 36
containers off Japan, but was sailing from South Korea to the U.S.A. at the