The unloading of Yantian Express to take several more weeks, says Hapag

The unloading of cargo on board fire-damaged Yantian Express (IMO 9229831) in Freeport, Bahamas, could take up to five weeks, Hapag Lloyd has said.

Nearly 200 containers were identified as being a total loss due to the blaze, which began on January 3rd while the vessel was en route from Sri Lanka to Canada.

Hapag-Lloyd has said that salvage operations were continuing in Freeport as planned with “the discharge of fire impacted containers and door end inspections of potentially damaged containers”.

The company said that “based on the information available at this point, we anticipate such discharge to take approximately five weeks from now to reach its completion. We are also exploring options with regard to the balance of the containerized cargo, which is unaffected by the fire and remains in a dry and sound condition and will advise further on this aspect as soon as feasible.” The vessel is currently in a temporary yard designed for distressed cargo, meaning that sound cargo cannot be unloaded. There were also concerns at the capacity constraints at the container berth in Freeport. “Alternative options are currently being investigated,” said Hapag-Lloyd.

SMIT had issued an early security demand in February with the aim of helping shippers move their cargo more quickly.

Appointed adjuster Richards Hogg Lindley had said that cargo owners would need to deposit a salvage security and a general average security. Shippers with insured cargo will be able to lodge guarantees provided by their insurers. For uninsured cargo, a cash deposit of 32.5% would be required as salvage security. An additional 28% would be required on top of this as general average security. The deposit would be calculated based on the cargo CFR value – the cost of the cargo including the cost of sea freight.

The vessel caught fire in the North Atlantic on January 3rd when en route from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

2002-built, Germany-flagged, 7,500 teu, 320-metre, 88,493 gt Yantian Express is owned and managed by Hapag-Lloyd of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with Britannia Club on behalf of Hapag-Lloyd. It sails in THE Alliance’s East Coast Loop 5 service, connecting south-east Asia with the east coast of North America via the Suez Canal. Yantian Express had been en route from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, when the fire broke out in the North Atlantic.