Video: ONE Boxship Diverts After Container Loss in the Atlantic

containership diverting as stack collapse in the Atlantic
Track of the Madrid Bridge (courtesy of Pole Star)

Published Jan 13, 2022 4:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japan’s Ocean Network Express (ONE) issued a further update to customers on last week’s container stack collapse on its vessel the Madrid Bridge. The 13,900 TEU vessel managed by "K" Line Ship Management of Singapore is planning to divert from its scheduled itinerary and proceed directly to Charleston. Normally the vessel would have stopped in New York, Norfolk, and Savannah along the U.S. East Coast before Charleston, based on the 84-day round trip voyage along the EC4 route.

Previously, ONE said that the vessel experienced a stack collapse on January 7 while in the mid-Atlantic. The current advisory reports that they estimated that approximately 60 containers were lost overboard and that an additional 80 were damaged. They are warning that the numbers may be updated after further investigations.

“The vessel is currently proceeding towards the East Coast of the United States and, if all goes well, will be calling in Charleston, for a detailed assessment of the vessel condition and to discharge the affected containers,” writes ONE.

The 1446,778 dwt Madrid Bridge departed Kaohsiung on November 30 making calls in Hong Kong, Yantian, Vietnam, and Singapore before heading to North America through the Suez Canal. The schedule reflected that the ship was due to reach its terminal in Bayonne at the Port of New York on January 17, but reports since the collapse delayed the arrival to January 20 and later to January 21. 


AIS track courtesy of Pole Star


AIS tracking data from Pole Star shows that the Madrid Bridge was slow steaming through much of the Mediterranean averaging 10 to 12 knots. After passing Gibraltar, the vessel slowed and then stopped and drifted starting on January 3 southwest of the Azores, getting underway four days later on January 7. The AIS image shows an erratic course before diverting in a southerly direction and then southwest before resuming the western course. On its current track, the ship is heading toward the northern Caribbean.

ONE has not said if the vessel was slow steaming due to port congestion in North America or if it was encountering heavy weather. At the end of last week, the Port of New York and New Jersey was reporting delays in getting containerships to the terminals due to the heavy volumes and longshoremen out of work due to the COVID virus and year-end holidays. As many as approximately a dozen containerships were at anchor off New York harbor. Charleston, however, has also been experiencing backlogs although port officials said they were working down the number of vessels being held at anchor. AIS data appears to show approximately eight vessels currently in the anchorage off Charleston.

Insurance surveyors are awaiting further updates on the vessel’s itinerary and ONE said that it would also be investigating the incident.