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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

Maersk Essen nears LA more than 6 weeks after container loss

March 2, 2021

(American Shipper) The Maersk Essen, which lost 750 containers in mid-January in the North Pacific, is now anchored in Southern California’s San Pedro Bay waiting to berth at APM Terminals Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles.

A Maersk spokesman said Monday the container ship, which has a capacity of 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), is expected to berth Thursday or Friday. The Essen sailed from the Port of Lazaro Cardenas on Feb. 22. The vessel had been at the Mexican port since diverting from its route to the Port of LA following the Jan. 16 incident in which it experienced a “rough sea encounter,” according to Maersk, the world’s largest shipping line.

As a result of that encounter, 750 containers went overboard and an additional 79 on deck were reportedly damaged.

The spokesman did not answer American Shipper’s question as to whether damaged cargo was left behind in Mexico or loaded back onto the Essen for transport to LA.

But cargo claims company W K Webster said in an update that “per local reports, it would appear that none of the 178 discharged containers were loaded back on board the Maersk Essen before it sailed. To this end, we are liaising with Maersk and MSC regarding their intentions to ship these units to destination.”

The Essen was carrying cargo for MSC customers as part of its Pearl service, which has a port rotation of Ving Tau, Vietnam; Hong Kong; Yantian and Xiamen, China; and LA.

W K Webster seemed to dispute an update from MSC that 79 containers on board the Essen had been damaged. It said that of the 178 containers discharged from the ship, only about 50 were “considered seaworthy. The remainder will require the cargoes to be cross-stuffed into sound containers prior to forwarding to destination.”

The Maersk Essen originally was scheduled to arrive at the Port of LA on Jan. 28.

Meanwhile, repairs to another storm-battered Maersk vessel, the Eindhoven, have been completed, the shipping line told American Shipper in an email Monday.

The Maersk Eindhoven arrived at APM Terminals Yokohama in Japan last Thursday for repairs. A.P. Møller – Maersk is the parent company of APM Terminals.

The Eindhoven, which also can carry 13,100 TEUs, lost 260 containers overboard in Japanese waters Feb. 17. An additional 65 were damaged on deck, and Maersk said some of the container ship’s steel railings may have been in need of repair as a result of the at-sea incident.

The Maersk spokesman told American Shipper on Monday that all repairs had been completed and the ship had been cleared for sailing. The Eindhoven is expected to resume the voyage to LA Tuesday or Wednesday.

Both the Essen and Eindhoven sail on the TP6 Asia-U.S. service, and both lost the containers while en route from Xiamen to the Port of LA.

According to FreightWaves maritime market expert Henry Byers, top importers using the Maersk TP6 service include Ikea, Amazon, Adidas, Grainger, Hasbro, Puma, Williams-Sonoma and Wolverine World Wide.

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