- 750 shipping containers aboard a Maersk cargo ship tumbled into the Pacific Ocean in heavy seas.
- Maersk Essen, which has the capacity for over 13,000 containers, was en route from China to California.
- Maersk is setting up a customer communication plan to reach out to customers who lost their goods.
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Hundreds of containers aboard a Maersk cargo ship fell into the Pacific Ocean when the vessel hit bad weather, the company said Friday.
Maersk Essen, which has the capacity for over 13,000 containers, dropped 750 boxes on January 16 while en route from Xiamen, China, to Los Angeles, California, the company said.
"All crew members are safe and a detailed cargo assessment is ongoing while the vessel continues on her journey," Maersk said in an emailed statement. "This is a very serious situation which will be investigated promptly and thoroughly."
The US Coast Guard, the ship's flag state, and relevant authorities have been notified and a customer communications plan and claims process has been prepared for impacted customers, it said.
The containers were carrying millions of dollars' worth of goods, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Maersk vessel is set to call at APM Terminals Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, on January 29 for cargo survey, port operations, and initial repair, according to the Danish company's statement.
An average of 1,382 containers went overboard at sea each year between 2008 and 2019, according to the World Shipping Council estimates, a trade group representing the international liner shipping companies.
Maersk, the largest container-shipping company with a fleet of 712 vessels, saw a soaring market capitalisation in 2020 thanks to consumer spending amid the pandemic that increased global shipping-freight rates.
Maersk's newly developed ability to tap into logistics markets also accelerated that growth, the result of a years-long plan to revive the company's fortunes by offering cargo owners an expanded variety of "beyond-the-port" customs and hinterland supply-chain services.
Underlying profits through the first nine months of last year tripled to $1.59 million despite revenues contracting marginally, while the Copenhagen, Denmark-listed group's share price was up 50% at the end of 2020 compared with a year earlier.