Maersk changes dangerous goods rules
Maersk Line has stopped placing dangerous goods in areas close to living sections and machinery spaces onboard their container vessels, until the investigation that will determine the cause of the fire on Maersk Honam last week is done.
"Until the investigation is done and the cause of the fire is known, we have decided to take preventive measures by limiting the stowage of DG, dangerous Goods, placed near living sections and machinery spaces," Maersk writes in a message to TradeWinds.
Maersk insists that there is no evidence to prove that the fire on Maersk Honam outside of India's Lakshadweep island group started because dangerous goods and that all containers were loaded in accordance with the safeguards described in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.
According to Maersk no calcium hypochlorite was reported to be onboard the vessel, calcium hypochlorite being a commodity that is often connected to the fire on the container 15.262-TEU Maersk Honam.
Just a few days prior to the incident, the ship's insurance company, Standard Club, issued a warning on the prevention of the dangers of not declaring calcium hypochlorite loads, which indicates that false declaration remains an important security issue for the shipping industry.
According to Maersk, the company only transport calcium hypochlorite for one client and regularly check for dangerous goods onboard their vessels. The shipping company investigates similar shiploads from shippers loaded in the area where the Maersk Honam fire started to determine whether the contents of the containers corresponded to the entries.
"To get a complete overview of the composition of goods in the cargo area where the fire broke out, we are investigating a limited amount of containers that have the same sender, receiver or commodity combination that match the containers in the specific cargo area. In the end, we expect to have succeeded about 150 inspections. We have informed our customers and asked for cooperation on these short-term initiatives, "says Maersk.
Source: TradeWinds / Maritime Denmark