rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Stowage Deficiencies Caused YM Efficiency Containers Loss -Report

(Photo: ATSB)

Deficiencies in the cargo stowage arrangement ultimately caused the YM Efficiency to lose 81 containers while sailing in heavy seas off Australia in June 2018, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB) investigation revealed.

The Liberian-flagged vessel was en route from Taiwan to Sydney when it suddenly rolled heavily in strong gale force winds and rough seas, causing the ship to lose 81 containers overboard and another 62 containers to be damaged. The containership, operated by Taiwan shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, also sustained structural damage to its lashing bridges, superstructure and accommodation ladder, and spent a further five days at sea before berthing in Sydney on June 6.

According to the ATSB's report published on Thursday, the cargo loss and damage occurred because forces generated during the sudden, heavy rolling placed excessive stresses on containers stowed aft of the ship's accommodation. This resulted in the structural failure of containers and components of the lashing system, leading to the loss of containers. All potential causes for the sudden rolling were investigated but there was insufficient evidence to establish a definitive reason for the rolling.

The weights and distribution of containers in the affected bays were such that calculated forces exceeded allowable force limits as defined in the ship's cargo securing manual (CSM), the ATSB found. The investigation also identified that the stowage arrangement was not checked for compliance with the CSM's calculated lashing force limitations during the cargo planning process ashore. This left sole responsibility for compliance with these requirements with the ship's officers, with limited options to resolve deficiencies at a late stage in the process without unduly impacting operations. Further, the officers did not use the ship's loading computer system and its lashing calculation program to check if the stowage arrangement complied as they probably did not have an adequate understanding of the system.

The ship's managers, Yang Ming, now require checks of lashing forces during the initial cargo stowage planning stage ashore. Shore planners will receive regular training in the principles of cargo loading and securing, container stowage, and the dangerous goods functionality of the computer automated stowage planning software. Further, a stowage planning examination has been introduced for trainee stowage planners.

A review of loading computer systems in use across the Yang Ming fleet resulted in the adoption of class-specified, route-specific container stowage standards for part of the fleet.YM Efficiency and the other ships of the same size and type have been equipped with class-approved container stowage planning software systems, with the same software replicated ashore.

In addition, periodic training in the use of the ship's loading computer system will be delivered to the responsible ship's officers. Cargo procedures were also reviewed to ensure that the requirement for lashing forces checks to be conducted, both ashore and on board, was captured.

To date, remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) searches had identified 66 containers with a few washed ashore or close offshore. Five containers have been removed with 15 containers yet to be found. Substantial debris has been ashing ashore on New South Wales beaches as a result of the accident.

Feb 14, 2020



Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime

Barges Break Free on the Mississippi

The Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Multiple towing vessels in the area worked together to account for and secure all the loose barges. (Photo: USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of

Vessels Queue Grows as Salvage Continues on the Intracoastal Waterway

Rock barge ACL 01700 split in half and sunk after grounding near Mile Marker 99 in Berwick, La. earlier this week. Salvage operations have continued day and night. (Photo Alexandria Preston / U.S. Coast Guard)

Nearly 200 towing vessels and 600 barges are queued on the Intracoastal Waterway while salvors


Russian Exports to China Fall Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Russia's export volumes to China fell by more than a quarter in the first 1-1/2 months of 2020 as China grappled with the coronavirus epidemic, Russia's Izvestia newspaper cited

Maersk to Buy U.S. Warehousing and Distribution Firm

Danish shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy U.S. warehousing and distribution firm Performance Team as part of plans to deliver more

Baltic Index Vessel Rates Edge Higher

© Jelena Dautova / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index rose on Wednesday as rates improved across all vessel

Maritime Apps