A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) has confirmed that one of its containerships, the Maersk Essen, lost approximately 750 containers in the North Pacific on January 16 2021.
In a statement, the carrier said the 13,100 TEU vessel experienced heavy seas as it travelled between the Chinese port of Xiamen and Los Angeles, US on the TP6 Asia/US West Coast service, which resulted in the containers falling overboard.
However, Maersk also said all crewmembers are safe and that a detailed cargo assessment is currently ongoing. The US Coast Guard, flag state and relevant authorities have been notified.
“We view this as a very serious situation which will be investigated promptly and thoroughly,” Maersk said.
“Operations and vessel safety are our highest priority and we will be taking any necessary steps to minimize the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future.”
It is the latest major incident to result in a loss of containers at sea in the past few months. In December 2020 the ONE Apus lost almost 2,000 containers either overboard or through damage.
Drone technology, used for aerial surveillance in the maritime industry during incidents resulting in damaged or lost goods, has become more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.