Maersk Addresses Honam Fire Fears with New Guidelines


Maersk has implemented new guidelines to improve safety across its container vessel fleet following the fire on the Maersk Honam on March 6, 2018.

The company operating the world’s biggest container shipping line has evaluated over 3,000 UN numbers of hazardous materials to understand and improve dangerous cargo stowage on board container vessels.

Its research has developed a new set of principles called Risk Based Dangerous Goods Stowage to minimise the risk of fire to crew, cargo, the environment and vessels.

In collaboration with the American Bureau of Shipping, Maersk has also called for a workshop with other industry stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive hazard identification study that validated these new guidelines.

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As well as being implemented across Maersk’s 750-vessel fleet, the principles have also been presented to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Danish Maritime Authorities. 

The rules for correct practice include not stowing cargo next to accommodation and the main propulsion plant, as many consider this an area with low stress tolerance.



Ole Graa Jakobsen, Vice President, Head of Fleet Technology at Maersk Line, commented: “Container ship fires are a problem for our entire industry and we intend to share and discuss our learnings from this thorough review within relevant industry forums.

“We very much believe that discussions, views and insights among container carriers can further improve fire safety in our industry.

“We aim for long term improvements by reviewing our systems and then designing an end-to-end process that is safe for our seafarers and smooth for our customers.”

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