The Maersk Essen was sailing from Xiamen, China to Los Angeles when it is reported to have encountered severe weather on 16 January.
Maersk said that all the crew members were safe and the vessel had continued on its voyage and detailed assessment of cargo damage was ongoing.
Marine claims consultancy WK Webster in a report on its website, “It is reported that up to 750 containers may have been lost overboard and it is therefore also very likely that some containers will have collapsed or been damaged in the affected stacks, but remain on board. These containers will need to be removed or repositioned.”
The incident with the Maersk Essen follows the ONE Apus which lost 1,816 containers in the Pacific on 30 November, as well as number of smaller incidents involving the loss of containers in recent months.
The loss of containers has been put in sharp focus and come at a time when vessels are loaded to the maximum given huge surge in growth of shipments in the second half of the year.
SeaIntelligence Consulting founder Lars Jensen commented in a LinkedIn post, “Is this a fluke twice in a row – or a sign that we might actually have a structural problem with stowage when vessels are consistently filled to brim?”
A number of P&I insurers are running webinars in relation to safe stowage of containers.
The numbers of containers lost overboard in both 2020 and now 2021 are set to exceed the average of 1,382 containers were lost per year between 2008 and 2019 according to the World Shipping Council.