Maersk Boxships That Lost Containers Heading for Los Angeles

Maersk containership
Maersk Eindhoven in Rotterdam in 2017 - Alf van Beem photo (Wikimedia Commons)

Published Mar 3, 2021 11:03 AM by The Maritime Executive

Maersk is reporting that its boxship the Maersk Eindhoven has resumed its voyage recovering quicker than expected from the recent incident. The vessel had lost propulsion power causing 260 containers to be lost overboard east of Japan and an additional 65 containers were damaged but remained aboard. 

The 13,100 TEU containership departed from APM Terminals Yokohama on March 2 resuming the interrupted voyage from Xiamen, China sailing to Los Angeles. The current estimated time of arrival is March 13 at the Los Angeles anchorage. Maersk had previously estimated that the vessel would remain at the APM Terminal until March 5, in part due to a need to shift off the terminal on February 28 – March 1 for a scheduled vessel arrival.

“The vessel will sail as fast as it is considered safe under the prevailing weather conditions in order to get the vessel to LA as soon as possible,” Maersk advised customers in a bulletin. After departing Yokohama, the vessel’s AIS was reporting a speed of 20 knots as it resumed the Pacific crossing.

While in Yokohama, they discharged the damaged containers and inspected the bays. Maersk had said that they believed there was only minor damage to the vessel and the vendors had told them that all the required welding and repairs could be completed in Yokohama.

Once the Maersk Eindhoven arrives at Los Angeles it will enter the anchorage waiting for space at the terminal. The backlog at Los Angeles, however, seems to be declining with the Marine Exchange of Southern California reporting at the beginning of this week that it had declined to 30 containerships in the anchorage. In January and February, ships were averaging up to eight days in the anchorage before they could move to the terminal.

In addition, Maersk has been working to try and expedite the arrival of both the Maersk Essen and now the Maersk Eindhoven. “Efforts continue to try and advance her in the Los Angeles anchorage waiting line so she can get to berth quicker,” Maersk wrote to the customers in the latest advisory.

At the same time, the Maersk Essen was delayed in her arrival at Los Angeles after she departed from Lazaro Cardenas on February 22. She had lost 750 containers at sea and damaged additional boxes during a weather incident on January 16 and sailed to Mexico as a port of refuge for a recovery operation. Maersk had diverted the ship to Mexico instead of going directly to Los Angeles for the recovery operation. 

After departing Mexico, the Maersk Essen had two further incidents. First, they had a medivac near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on February 23 for a crew member who injured his arm. The following day the vessel reportedly “experienced an engine oil situation” that Maersk said was being addressed. The boxship anchored off Los Angeles on March 1 and the company expects that she will move to the terminal by the end of this week.