Hundreds of containers damaged by fire on board Zim vessel at sea
INSURANCE firm WK Webster has reported that there’s been another sizeable fire onboard a boxship, the latest involving the 8,586 TEU Zim Charleston early this month in the Indian Ocean.
The fire broke out on August 8 in cargo hold 4 and up to 300 containers may have been damaged in the blaze, according to Singapore’s Splash 247.
The vessel, which sails under the flag of Hong Kong, has since returned to Colombo where boxes on deck have been removed at the East Container Terminal while further investigations are being made to ascertain whether it is safe to discharge containers from the affected hold.
ZIM officials have yet to confirm details of the fire despite repeated email requests from Splash. The ship is owned by Seaspan.
Liner shipping has been chastened by statistics from insurers that suggest a major fire takes place on a boxship every 60 days. ICHCA International, the cargo handling operatives association, calculated back in 2019 that of the 60 million packed containers moved each year, 10 per cent or 6 million are declared as dangerous goods.
Information from published government inspections – which are invariably biased towards declared dangerous goods loads – suggests that 20 per cent of these are poorly packed or incorrectly identified. This translates into 1.3 million potentially unstable dangerous goods containers travelling around the world each year.