MSC Zoe Casualty

The first half of the year draws to a close and we can look back on a busy and exiting time with the MSC Zoe casualty operations now entering the final stage.

On 2 January ’19, the MSC ZOE encountered heavy weather whilst en route from Sines, Portugal to Bremerhaven, Germany. The subsequent collapse of several container stacks led to the container spill of about 345 container in German waters as well as the damage of hundreds container on board.

On 3 January ’19, the vessel safely arrived at Bremerhaven and was secured at the Eurogate terminal.

On 4 January ’19, the clearance from port authorities for the discharge and salvage operation was received, which started immediately and took about 2 weeks.

On 15 January ’19, following the removal of about 450 damaged container from board, the MSC Zoe left Bremerhaven and proceeded to the port of Danzig, Poland in order to discharge all remaining undamaged container and in preparation for the repair works in respect of vessel’s hull damage.

Already during this first stage of the operation, our casualty team started to approach the relevant parties on site and established contact to the carrier, their representatives on site as well as local authorities, in order to be prepared to protect cargo interests as soon and as effectively as possible. This proactive approach paid off as the upcoming weeks were characterized by receiving instructions for casualty investigations for more than 250 container by cargo owners and/or their insurers, freight forwarders and other cargo surveyors.

All the affected container were placed in a non-operational area of the terminal and arrangements in terms of health, safety and environmental safeguard had to be considered. Further, operational matters to coordinate our attendance for inspection had to be organised.

On 04 February ’19, the joint doors’ end inspections of the container at Bremerhaven started on a daily basis and lasted for almost one month. In this time, we inspected 175 container on behalf of our principals. Many of these container had suffered extreme physical damage and were unfit for normal handling, in which case the on-carriage was not possible and the respective cargo had to be cross stuffed into replacement container.

On 07 March ’19, with conclusion of the doors’ end inspection, the cross stuffing operation started. We attended at the terminal on a daily basis and supervised the repacking of cargo of more than 100 containers. Based on our vast experience with such major casualties, we contended in most of the cases successfully against the unreasonable disposal of cargo, whilst representing cargo interests on site. By this way, we assisted in saving considerable values for the benefit of our principals.

Although, the cross stuffing operation will be finalised with end of this week, we further assist our principals in this regard with close attention to the concerned liabilities as well as to the recovery prospects.






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