Maersk Honam to be towed to Jebel Ali

Container ship Maersk Honam (IMO 9784271) will be towed to Jebel Ali, where her cargo will be off-loaded, although it could take a couple of weeks for the vessel to arrive there, while General Average (GA) could complicate the procedure.

A substantial proportion of the cargo located behind the ship’s accommodation area was expected to be in sound condition, although the declaration of GA will mean all cargo owners facing an expense. Most containers located in front of the accommodation area appear to be fire-damaged either by the heat or by the water used to fight the fire.

Insurers were requested to prepare the required GA and Salvage security bonds in order to expedite a speedy delivery of undamaged cargoes.

The fire severely damaged much of the cargo, and the vessel itself, as well as killing four of the crew. With 12,000 teu on board and an average value of $10,000 per teu, the International Group’s (IG) $100m pool retention is thought likely to be exceeded, meaning at least some loss to the reinsurance market.

Under the law of force majeure, cargo owners could also be liable for the cost of relaying containers from Jebel Ali to their destination ports – although the respective carriers may organise the feeder operation free of charge.