Export/Import Updates!
April 29, 2020

Process Ignorance or Commercialisation, What’s the Cause Behind Maersk Honam Fire?

March was a busy month at work. Financial year-ends usually are. Although I do try to keep abreast of all important news and critical events in the industry, sometimes the schedule doesn’t permit it.

The news about the fire on Maersk Honam is one such missed incident. I came to know about the case whilst going through the industry updates of the past month.

As I understand from the media reports, it took almost 5 days to bring the fire under control. The firefighting efforts are still in progress. This explosion resulted in the death of 5 crew members, destroyed cargo worth millions, and caused heavy damage to a new (2017 built) vessel. For the shippers who had cargo on board, the nightmare has just begun. It may take months for them to get their cargo back (if it has been salvaged) that too after paying a huge sum of money as the Danish Liner has declared general average.

Why do we need to talk about this incident?

Even though fire on ships is not a frequent occurrence, it is a serious one. Thus, when such incidents occur, we must not brush them away as accidents. They signal an anomaly in the system or processes that are being followed.

Instead of stopping at mere reportage, these cases should be rigorously investigated for cause. And, we must collectively – shipping lines, regulatory authorities, NVOCCs, and traders – work to find solutions to mitigate such incidents.

To spark off the discussion, I am sharing a few questions that occurred to me as I read the media reports on the Maersk Honam Fire mishap.

Considering that the vessel was new, it raises a question regarding the construction plan of the ship/quality of the construction. One is compelled to ask if the ship’s construction plan was approved by the American Bureau of Shipping? Or was safety compromised in anyway to optimize design and reduce costs?

  • How did the ship’s document of compliance allow such dangerous cargo to be loaded near the crew’s accommodation? Did the stowage plan of the vessel comply with the document of compliance? Were the rules and regulations mentioned in the SOLAS Convention followed?
  • Was the cargo correctly approved in line with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code by the shipping line that accepted it?
    Here, along with Maersk, the responsibility for the mishap  lies equally with its 2M Alliance Partner - MSC and slot sharing partner - HMM. Since, the cargo manifest is not made available to the vessel operator, it is important to know if the Line that accepted the cargo carried out due diligence?
  • Finally, did the shipper correctly declare the nature of the cargo?
    One of the major reasons for such incidents is misleading/incorrect information provided by the shipper or his staff due to unawareness of the rules or inexperience of dealing with such hazardous cargo. As an industry, we must take measures to educate shippers of the rules and regulations, processes to be followed when dealing with hazardous cargo.

In addition to finding answers to the above questions, we also need to understand where we are lacking in our efforts to ensure ship safety:

  • Are we providing the latest equipment on the ships to deal with such mishaps? 
  • Is our crew equipped with the knowledge and training to manage any operational issues or accidents or fires? Training of the staff on board must be of top priority because if even one member of the crew is slightly unsure of what to do in such a situation, we are putting the life of 25-30 other people at risk.

While investigations will reveal the cause of the blast on Maersk Honam, till the time the report is released, we must engage in healthy debate on how to curb such incidents. As an industry, we must also work on educating ourselves, our teams, and our customers to make due diligence and safety first an integral part of our work. We owe it to the 5 sailors who lost their lives in the incident.

Image Source: @IndiaCoastGuard

Shipping Lines
Marine Insurance
Cargo Insurance
Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Customer success manager

More articles

9 Skills To Be A Successful Export/Import Manager

9 Skills To Be A Successful Export/Import Manager

An Export/Import manager must have these essential skills to be successful.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Events, Scrubbers, the Chinese Economy and Logistics Tech

Events, Scrubbers, the Chinese Economy and Logistics Tech

This Week in Ocean Freight

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Are you Aware of the Importance of Business Trade Finance?

Are you Aware of the Importance of Business Trade Finance?

Wondering how to take your business to new heights? Read our blog article on the advantages of trade finance, which is a preview of our upcoming webinar.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Exporting by Ship? Here’s How to Find the Right Container

Exporting by Ship? Here’s How to Find the Right Container

Choose the right container for your cargo and optimise your logistics costs

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Transportation costs | The key player in Logistics.

Transportation costs | The key player in Logistics.

Transportation costs have always been a key element in logistics that joints the separated activities.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Global Buyers Look Towards India amid Coronavirus Outbreak in China

Global Buyers Look Towards India amid Coronavirus Outbreak in China

Indian Manufacturers and exporters have received an increase in the number of queries coming for their products.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
This is some text inside of a div block.
Export/Import Updates!

Heading

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Sara Smith
Customer success manager

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Heading

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Resources

No items found.