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Cargo Owners Still Waiting for Maersk Honam Containers

The tragic story of Maersk Honam is yet to reach an end. The fire claimed lives of five seafarers and the misery of the cargo owners seem to continue with uncertainty as to when they will receive their containers.

The ship with 7, 860 boxes caught fire on 6 March in the Arabian Sea en route to the Mediterranean viz Suez.

According to the casualty website of Maersk-appointed average adjuster Richards Hogg Lindley, containers stowed in holds 1-3 of the ship are believed to be a total loss, due to fire and water damage.

Though stationary off Muscat, according to the media report, Maersk says the ship is not at anchor. The vessel would be safely brought alongside and the cargo would be discharged in a port with proper facilities and capabilities, according to a spokesperson’s report; Jebel Ali, Dubai appears likely to be the port.

Industry speculation on the reason for the delay in arriving at the nominated port of refuge ranges from the ship being still “too hot” to berth, to disagreements on salvage terms.

This will be frustrating for importers since they will have to face severe disruption in the supply chain; the disturbing facts are that they neither know the length of the delay nor the extent of damage or no damage of their cargo. The case of the smaller shippers is still worse facing almost disastrous ruin.

Meanwhile, Maersk’s 2M partner, MSC, has not issued a customer advisory on the Maersk Honam casualty since 21 March when it said: “We will only be able to clarify the situation once the cargo has been discharged at the port of refuge and inspected.”

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