Lashing failures caused MSC Zoe container losses

Experts claim that the 2 January accident on the MSC Zoe was caused by a lashing failure rather than a vessel design fault. Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Naval architects and marine experts have told FreightWaves that the most likely cause of the container losses suffered by the MSC Zoe earlier this month were a failure in the lashing process.

According to one source, the accelerations and rolling motions of a vessel in a storm mean that the most vulnerable areas of the ship, in terms of cargo container losses, are at the front and rear of the vessel.

Photographs taken at the time of the accident showed that most of the 280 or so containers lost from the MSC Zoe were from the central cargo holds of the vessel, and that, said both sources, indicates that the lashings were insufficient to hold the cargo in the storm.

Asked by FreightWaves if there had been further updates on the causes of the accident, an MSC spokeswoman said, “The exact causes of this incident are still being analysed.”

Meanwhile, MSC issued a further statement on the discharge of cargo that has taken place in Bremerhaven: only one container bound for Bremerhaven was damaged; all cargo heading to destinations beyond Bremerhaven, but through the port, have been unloaded; cargo loaded in Sines, Portugal, bound for Tanjung Pelepas, in Malaysia was unloaded in Bremerhaven and will be loaded onto a connecting vessel.

The search for missing cargo and local clean-up operations are continuing. All cargo owners have been contacted, said the vessel operator.

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Nick Savvides, Staff Writer

Nick came to FreightWaves in December 2018 from Fairplay, a shipping market publication. He covers the shipping, freight and logistics industry in Europe. Since starting his career as a journalist in 1990, Nick has worked for a number of significant freight publications abroad, including International Freighting Weekly, the online news service for Containerisation International, ICIS, the chemical industry reporting service, as well as Seatrade in Greece. Nick also worked as a freelance journalist writing for Lloyd’s List, The Observer, The Express and The European newspapers among others before joining Seatrade Newsweek in Athens.