Fireworks, batteries and liquid ethanol were inside the 64 dangerous goods containers that went overboard with more than 1,750 others from the ONE Apus last week. None of the containers has been sighted.
In one of the single worst cases of container losses on record, 1,816 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were lost overboard after the year-old Apus reportedly encountered severe weather at about 11:15 p.m. Nov. 30 en route from Yantian, China, to the Port of Long Beach in California, the vessel’s owner, Chidori Ship Holding, and manager, NYK Shipmanagement, said.
Of the 64 containers identified as carrying dangerous goods, 54 held fireworks, eight had batteries and two contained liquid ethanol, according to a ONE Apus information center update Monday.
The update said Chidori and NYK Shipmanagement are working with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu, which “has advised that there have not been sightings of any containers” as of yet.
After the accident, the Apus turned back for Asia. The information center update said the container ship is “cautiously proceeding to the Port of Kobe, Japan,” and has an estimated berthing time of noon Tuesday (10 p.m. EST Monday).
“Once berthed, it’s expected to take some time to offload the dislodged containers that remain on board,” the announcement said. “Then a thorough assessment will be made on the exact number and type of containers that have been lost or damaged.”
Ownership of the goods lost has not been revealed and thus it’s not known whether some New Year’s Eve celebrations will be dimmer with 54 U.S.-bound containers of fireworks lost at sea.
Henry Byers, FreightWaves’ maritime market expert, said the top importers using ONE as their ocean carrier into Long Beach the past 30 days were Flexport International, MOL Consolidation, Topocean Consolidation, UPS Ocean Freight Services, DHL Global Forwarding, Kuehne + Nagel and C.H. Robinson.
Rounding out the top 20 are Hecny Transportation, Rimports, Daniel M. Friedman & Associates, Apex Maritime, Hankook Tire America, Yusen Logistics, Ameziel, BDP Transport, Kintetsu World Express, Penguin Random House, Expeditors International, Harman International Industries and R.T. Express International.
Still other ONE customers through Long Beach are Living Spaces Furniture, APL Logistics, Signal Products, Wilson Sporting Goods, Sumitomo Rubber North America, Lexmark Juarez Distribution Center, Guardian Technologies, Konica Minolta Business Solutions and Hasbro.
Built in only 2019, the ONE Apus is 364 meters long and 51 meters wide and has a carrying capacity of 14,052 TEUs.
According to the World Shipping Council, container losses actually are few and far between. In fact, a WSC report issued in July said an average of only 1,382 containers were lost at sea per year between 2008 and 2019.
For many in the maritime industry, the Apus incident has brought to mind the June 2013 sinking of the MOL Comfort. The 7,041-TEU container ship cracked in half during an Arabian Sea storm. While efforts were made to tow the two halves of the ship to port, both eventually sank.