Assessment and unloading of Maersk Essen begins

The assessment and unloading of container ship Maersk Essen (IMO 9456783) was scheduled to start at APM Terminals Lázaro Cárdenas on Saturday January 30th, the vessel having been moved to the terminal from anchorage, where it moored on January 27th. The assessment of the damage to containers and a listing of those lost at sea was expected to take between two and three weeks. Denmark-based Maersk said that the time that it would take to unload and restow the containers was not yet clear.

AP Møller Maersk was assessing the damage following the loss of about 750 containers during a storm in the Pacific Ocean on January 16th.

Maersk Essen’s original destination had been the Port of Los Angeles, but the extended time that unloading would take there, combined with severe congestion at ports in Southern California, led to the decision to divert 1,800 miles to the south east to Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico.

The plans for transporting the cargo to the intended port of destinations have not been decided, but the latest information suggested that, after repairs, the ship was likely to re-stow the undamaged containers and sail to Los Angeles. Some containers are likely to be unsuitable re-stowing. These are likely to be transshipped by land (probably rail) or handled locally.

Maersk said that there were four possible scenarios:

  • The cargo would remain on board and the Maersk Essen eventually would sail from Lázaro Cárdenas to Pier 400 in Los Angeles.
  • The cargo of the Maersk Essen would be embarked onto another ship in Lázaro Cárdenas for its transit to Los Angeles.
  • The cargo would be transported by rail by Kansas City Southern (KCS) to Los Angeles and then onto final destinations as originally booked.
  • Customers could consider leaving their cargo in Mexico and using it in the supply chain in Mexico City .

2010-built, Denmark-flagged, 141,716 gt Maersk Essen is owned by Jiamao International Shipping care of manager Maersk AS of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of Jiamao International Ship Lease Co Ltd.