Containership Diverts to Tacoma After Container Collapse at Sea

containership diverts after collapse at sea
One Aquila during her maiden arrival in California in April 2020 - Port of Long Beach photo

Published Nov 6, 2020 5:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

The 138,600 dwt containership One Aquila arrived in Tacoma, Washington this afternoon for an unscheduled stop after having suffered a collapse of containers during its trans-Pacific crossing. The vessel’s operator Ocean Network Express (ONE) reported that the incident occurred during severe weather conditions sailing from China to Long Beach, California.  

“Considering the vessel situation and various factors, the latest plan for the vessel is to divert to the port of Tacoma to do her survey and re-work of the collapsed containers, subject to authorities’ approval,” they reported in an advisory to customers. “We regret the inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding in this regard.”

 The company has not reported any details on the extent of the accident and if containers were also lost overboard or if it is on a collapse leaving the containers unstable aboard the vessel.  According to updated details reported to customers, the plan was to offload collapsed containers and complete an inspection in Tacoma before resuming the voyage. 

Currently, the company is anticipating as much as a two and half week delay in reaching California. The latest update estimates that the One Aquila will arrive in Long Beach on November 26 and Oakland on December 4.

The vessel which measures 1,195 feet in length has a carrying capacity of 14,000 TEUs. It is one of the newer vessels in the fleet having been delivered to ONE in September 2018 from the Kure Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation. When she was delivered the company said she employs a hull form that allows improved cargo-loading efficiency achieved by minimized engine-room space.  

Weather is considered to be one of the most frequent factors contributing to container damage or loss overboard during a voyage. The World Shipping Council (WSC) issued a report in July 2020 that said the incidents of containers lost overboard has been on the decline and is a small percentage of the total annual volume. In the period between 2008 and 2019, the WSC estimates that there were on average a total of 1,382 containers lost at sea each year.