Maersk to minimise disruption to schedules after fatal fire on Maersk Honam
MAERSK Line of Denmark is making alternative vessels available for European exporters scheduled to load containers on the Maersk Honam, which caught fire off the port of Salalah in the Arabian Sea last week
MAERSK Line of Denmark is making alternative vessels available for European exporters scheduled to load containers on the Maersk Honam, which caught fire off the port of Salalah in the Arabian Sea last week.
The 2017-built 15,262 TEU Maersk Honam caught fire on March 6 in the Arabian Sea en route to the Mediterranean, via Suez, claiming the lives of four seafarers with a further crew member presumed to be lost.
The Maersk Honam was part of the 2M Alliance's AE11 Jade loop, with the port rotation of Qingdao, Busan, Ningbo, Xiamen, Nansha, Yantian, Singapore, Malta, Barcelona, Valencia, La Spezia, Gioia Tauro, Port Said, King Abdullah City, Dubai, Singapore, Shekou, Xiamen, and Qingdao. A total of 11 vessels of between 13,000 and 15,900 TEU were deployed on the string.
A Maersk spokesperson said Maersk Honam was scheduled to arrive in Europe one or two weeks after the fire and the carrier had time to put a contingency plan in place to mitigate further disruption, IHS Media reported.
'For customers who intended to load cargo on Maersk Honam in Europe to be exported to Asia, Maersk Line will be considering an alternative vessel to take over Maersk Honam's rotation or make other allowances on other Maersk Line vessels sailing to Asia,' the spokesperson said.
Several Maersk Line vessels assisted in the search and rescue for the missing crew members, but the carrier did not expect schedule disruption as a result. 'To mitigate further impact to schedules of the vessels assisting with the search and rescue, Maersk Line vessels traversing the region are rotated periodically, so that one vessel is not excessively delayed,' the spokesperson said.
The Maersk spokesperson declined to speculate on the cause of the fire, but a carrier executive told JOC.com at TPM 2018 in Long Beach that with the mis-declaration of dangerous goods being such an enormous industry problem - on ocean as well as air - that would be an obvious place for investigators to start.
'What we can say is this is a very serious fire,' Maersk said. 'A full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire and the impact to the vessel and cargo.' The India Marine Police is conducting a routine investigation of the incident and will be interviewing all crew members.
Specialised firefighting vessels are still on the scene and salvage operations are being led by Smit Salvage and Ardent. Maersk Line is cooperating with the salvors and has two marine engineers on site.