It’s one of the single worst cases of container losses on record.
Just when we thought the container shortage of 2020 couldn’t get any worse, there was a massive cargo container loss of nearly 1,900 of them (full of goods) off the coast of Japan. Losing billions of dollars of precious cargo and of course, much needed shipping containers. The ONE Apus loss occurred in August and as of December none of the containers en route to Long Beach, CA have been sighted.
An apparently authentic social media image of the aftermath of the ONE Apus incident. Twitter @nobuya0827
Shipping Container Losses
In general, steel cargo container losses actually are few and far between, according to the World Shipping Council. In fact, the WSC report issued in July 2020 reported that an average of only 1,382 containers were lost at sea per year between 2008 and 2019. However, between 2017 and 2019, the industry was able to reduce the average loss per year to 779 container units.
This loss on just one transit ship is out of the ordinary. Although for many who follow the maritime industry, the Apus incident reminds us of the June 2013 sinking of the MOL Comfort. That container ship cracked in half during an Arabian Sea storm and while effort was made to tow the two halves of the ship back to port, both eventually sank along with the cargo.
Although rare, the losses can be staggering with 4,293 containers lost in 2013 when the MOL Comfort was lost. When the Rena grounded in 2011, approximately 900 containers were lost in that one incident.
What was en Route on ONE Apus?
Many of the goods lost on this container ship were considered ‘dangerous goods’ like fireworks, batteries, and liquid ethanol. Making the incident much worst not just on our industry, but the environment as these containers remain in the ocean. These products were inside 64 dangerous goods cargo containers that went overboard with more than 1,750 others from the ONE Apus.
The over 1,800 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were lost overboard after the year-old Apus encountered severe weather en route from Yantian, China, to the Port of Long Beach in California. These massive losses were reported once the ship made it back to port in Kobe, Japan on December 8th. Of course, the exact number of units and total of goods lost won’t be known for some time.
The owner of the ship management company is working with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu to remain on watch for the shipping containers. In the meantime, they continue efforts to make a thorough assessment of the exact number and type of containers that have been lost or damaged.
Industries Impacted by the Apus Loss
This is a major loss for the logistics industry and one of the worst on record for our maritime transportation channels.
While ownership of the goods lost has not been revealed, we know that with fireworks onboard some New Year’s Eve celebrations and the fireworks companies that rely on them were certainly impacted. Additionally, it’s been reported that furniture, sporting goods, and toys from companies like Hasbro were also lost in transit.
Clearly, this is a loss for shipping container rental and sales companies like ours as we have a significant loss in one-trip and other grades of containers to pass along to our consumers who repurpose the units for storage, ground–level offices (GLOs), and other needs for their businesses and homes.
Can I Still Get Containers?
Of course! While this will be another part of the shortage seen in the industry due to the global pandemic, it doesn’t impact the current number of containers presently on hand.
You can contact our customer service team or get a free quote to learn about our current inventory options. We’ll help find the right container for your needs and budget.
Full coverage of One Apus Cargo Loss