Cargo shipment mishaps occur more often than you think. This month there already was a substantial spill of containers in the North Sea when the MSC Zoe, one of the world’s largest container ships, encountered heavy weather conditions.
Even more concerning is a news report that came out around the same time about a container ship fire on the Hapag-Lloyd vessel, Yantian Express, on route to the port of Halifax. Hapag-Lloyd has formally declared General Average, as the fire which broke out in a container, spread to other boxes after bad weather rendered the crew’s fire-fighting efforts fruitless, forcing them to abandon ship. It’s surprising, but these fires are commonplace, and one insurer has suggested that there are fires of some kind weekly and a major fire every 60 days.
Another recent incident involved the container vessel Ever Summit at the Port of Vancouver’s Vanterm facility. While berthing, the vessel struck a gantry crane causing the large ship-to-shore crane to collapse onto the loaded container ship, crushing some containers. In addition, both the vessel and the crane suffered damages.
Keep these examples in mind the next time you consider whether or not to buy cargo insurance.