ONE Apus Containership Returns to Sea After Three Month Recovery

containership departs Japan after recovery
One Apus during a prior call in Vietnam - Tan Cang – Cai Mep International Co., Ltd (TCIT)

Published Mar 16, 2021 10:40 AM by The Maritime Executive

The containership ONE Apus returned to sea today more than three months after it sought refuge in Japan following one of the worst container losses at sea ever recorded. The 14,052 TEU boxship departed Kobe, Japan on March 16 resuming the interrupted voyage to Long Beach, California where she is now expected to arrive on March 30, four months after she lost 1,816 containers at sea during severe weather approximately 1,600 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii.

The ONE Apus departed Kobe at mid-day with only a partial load. She had arrived in Kobe on December 8 and the delicate process of offload the dislodged containers had begun. As of the end of February, ONE reported that nearly 1,000 containers had been offloaded. They were being sorted into containers that were too badly damaged, ones that could be transloaded, and those that remained stable.



The plan was to back-load as many of the original containers as well as the ones that had been transloaded. However, ONE advised, “there are some containers originally carried on ONE Apus may need to be carried on different vessels due to safety and/or operational constraints.” Shippers were also required to update and refile paperwork to facilitate the shipment and landing of containers in California.

Cargo claims consultants WK Webster reported that their surveyors remained in daily attendance to verify which containers were discharged and to also conduct an initial external inspection and to review the condition of cargo in any containers that were being trans-loaded. 

Images from the dock in Kobe show the shattered remains of numerous containers. No additional details have been released on the nature of the loss other than the initial statements which said that 64 dangerous goods containers were among the 1,816 lost overboard. Insurance experts believe the claims will total more than $100 million.



Webster reports that investigations into the possible cause of the incident have been continuing. “The experts that we have appointed have been reviewing weather reports, voyage data, ship design, damage patterns as well as similar incidents where there may be certain common factors that have contributed to the cause of the incident,” writes Webster. Flag state representatives and inspectors from the classification society also toured the ship during its time in Kobe.

Once arriving off the San Pedro Bay port complex, the ONE Apus will have to enter the queue to reach her terminal. ONE estimates that she might not be alongside until April 7. Maersk experienced a similar issue when its containerships Maersk Essen and Maersk Eindhoven, both of which also suffered container losses at sea, arrived at the port. The Maersk Essen arrived off the port on March 2 and was able to reach the terminal two days later. She departed Los Angeles for Asia on March 11. The Maersk Eindhoven arrived in the anchorage on March 13 and is currently waiting for space at the terminal.