Jan 10, 2019
Author: Andrew Craston
In the North Atlantic, some 800 nautical miles east of the Canadian port of Halifax, a fire on the Hapag-Lloyd container ship YANTIAN EXPRESS (IMO: 9229831 / MMSI: 211367460) is now seemingly out of control. Fortunately, no loss of life was reported as the entire crew of 23 members was rescued before the fire had taken hold of most of the vessel. Right now, the Belgian tug SMIT NICOBAR is fighting the fire and a second tug, the MAERSK MOBILISER, has been sent from Canada to assist in the salvage operations.
But what about all the containers on the Yantian Express, a vessel with a fully laden capacity of 7,500 TEUs? This is where our Container Track & Trace (CTT) tool comes in.
Before news of the fire broke, we had already detected a deviation from the predicted route and informed our customers accordingly. So they were aware of a potential problem. Now that the tragic details are known, our customers, such as one US company with 20 containers on board the Yantian Express, have been informed of their whereabouts, and their probable loss. Although this is hardly good news, our customers definitely prefer to know the worst so they can plan accordingly, rather than being left in the dark by a shipping company. If the 320-metre long, 88,493 BRT – Yantian Express should sink (which we hope it doesn’t), it would be the biggest loss in the history of Hapag-Lloyd.
Another container story to have hit the headlines over New Year was the loss of hundreds of containers off the 396-meter-long, 19,224 TEU – MSC ZOE (IMO: 9703318 / MMSI: 352757000) during a severe storm in the North Sea. Before this container ship docked in Bremerhaven for repairs, our customers were once again the first to know about this incident and the potential loss of their containers.