testata inforMARE
23 February 2024 - Year XXVIII
Independent journal on economy and transport policy
05:57 GMT+1




"Singapore investigative body calls for better efforts to screen hazardous goods after tracing likely cause of 2018 disaster to a compound capable of self-igniting stored under containership's deck ."

A DANGEROUS cargo was probably the cause of a fatal fire on board a Maersk containership, an investigation has con-cluded.

Five seafarers died following the incident on the 15,262 teu Maersk Honam in March 2018.

The Singapore-flagged vessel was en route from Singapore to Suez with 7,860 containers when the fire started.

A report following the inquiry by Singapore's Transport Safety Investigation Bureau has been published this month.

It said that while the extent of the damage meant that the fin-dings into the cause of the fire were inconclusive, it was "possible" that the stowage of 54 containers containing a chemi-cal used in bleaches and cleaning products was the ultimate sour-ce.

Decomposition of the dangerous cargo generated intense heat, enabling the fire to develop rapidly out of control.

"It is possible that one or more containers in number three cargo hold [containing sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate] were compromised by self-decomposition of the SDID," the bu-reau's final 98-page report found.

"The block stowage of the SDID further exacerbated the rate of reaction and heat production, which resulted in an uncontrollable spread of the fire."

The temperature at which exothermic decomposition was initia-ted was much lower than the values typically declared by the shipper, and the presence of free water and / or stowage of the SDID in large packages or consignments leads to further sub-stantial depression of the onset temperature, the report said.

"Given the susceptibility of SDID to exothermic decomposition in the presence of free water or impurities, serious consideration must be given to the prospect that the decomposition could be initiated as a direct result of the inherent properties of the cargo itself," it said.

AP Moller-Maersk chief technical officer Palle Laursen said the fire was "one of the most serious incidents'' in the company's history.

"The magnitude and intensity of this fire made it impossible for any crew to successfully contain, making it key that we as an industry take steps to address the root cause to ensure seafarers never find themselves in a similar situation," he said following the report's publication.

The International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code allows for the classification and carriage of sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate under Class 9, which does not recognise the potential thermal instability of the material.

The report said the chemical compound was stowed under-deck, where the main fixed firefighting means was CO2 "which is ineffective to tackle fires associated with such materials."

Raising alarm

It also found weaknesses in the initial emergency response to the fire.

"It was noted that the fire alarm was not raised at the onset of the event, causing a delay in the closure of the magnetic fire doors of the accommodation, and non-closure of exterior ventilation vents."

Moreover, the muster list did not clearly identify the roles of everyone on board, which resulted in some of the crew waiting to be given instructions.

The investigation also found that the firefighting flow charts under the ship emergency response plan did not ensure that all the ventilator flaps and dampers on board were closed as one of the primary firefighting actions, regardless of the location of fire.

When toxic gases entered the bridge, chaos started to develop, causing the formation of different groups. Radio communication was lost with the smaller groups.

"The master's action to abandon ship with group one, after ma-king reasonable attempts to reach out to the other crew on wal-kie-talkie was considered plausible," the report said.

The TSIB noted that industry-wide issues still exist in the cargo booking process for dangerous goods.

"Although there was no evidence of a mis-declared cargo that led to the fire in number three cargo hold, the investigation team noted that the current cargo screening process in the industry is not able to ensure declarations by shippers, which are based on trust, match the description of the cargo in the container, as such a process could be too onerous and labour-intensive if carried out manually."

Maersk has now banned the stowage of IMDG containers imme-diately forward and aft of the accommodation and engine casing for twin-island ships, and has reviewed emergency response procedures.

"The main safety recommendations in the report have already been implemented across the fleet over the past two years and we will be studying the report further to understand how to best make use of the recommendations," Aslak Ross, the company's head of marine standards, said in a statement.

Mr Laursen said the company was "devastated that five col-leagues lost their lives and that five families lost their loved ones''.

"We hope this investigation will initiate a more holistic, indu-stry-wide approach where we address the concerns regarding containerised dangerous goods across the entire supply chain - starting at the manufacturing level and following through until the box has been safely delivered at destination to the customer," he said.


Today in Rome, the 30-year-old celebratory convention of the law 84/94
Established the Port Authorities and the General Command of the Capitaneries of Puerto-Guard Coastal
Comparison between the Suez Canal Authority and the heads of the Genovese company Messina
Rabie : appreciation for the growing number of Italian carrier ships passing through the canal
In 2023 the traffic in goods in the ports of Montenegro dropped by -17.7%
In mild growth (+ 1.2%) the loads to and from Italy
The interports, with the privatization of managers and areas, at the center of the House discussion
Frijia (Fdi) : With this law we surpass a discipline that goes back more than 30 years. Ghio (Pd) : new sales of our heritage and fundamental structures for the country
On Friday, a conference on the relaunch of the Tuscan Simplified Logistics Zone was held in Livorno.
It is organized by the Port Authority of the Tyrrhenian Sea North
On 26 and March 27 in Milan, the 8th edition of "Shipping, Forwarding & Logistics meet Industry" will be held in Milan.
Intermodal traffic at the Interport in Bologna in 2023
Transitioned 1.7 million trucks (-10.6%) and 3,391 trains (-33.2%)
In 2023 the value of Russian exports of non-energy goods decreased by -23%
Overall, exports were down -28.3% percent, while imports grew by 11.7% percent.
GNV strengthens the functionalities of its own fleet assistance center
Implemented the Mass Notification Suite solution of Everbridge
Port of Gioia Tauro, altering controls to favour ' Ndrangheta in drug traffics
Reggio Calabria
Disjointed a criminal association made up of customs officials, the head of a shipping company, the harbour and the referents of the main coaches
In 2023 the revenues of the HHLA terminalist group decreased by -8.3%
Decline of -12.0% in the fourth quarter of the year
Turkon Line will activate a scheduled service between Turkey and the northern Red Sea
It will perform scans in Mersin, Iskenderun, Aqaba and Jeddah
Visual Sailing List
Departure ports
Arrival ports by:
- alphabetical order
- country
- geographical areas
Germany's BGL applauds Italy's decision to urge the start of an infringement procedure against Austria
Frankfurt am Main / Bolzano
Convention on novelty for import introduced with the European CBAM Regulation
Organized by Assosped Venice and Anasped, it will be held on February 28 in Marghera
Fire in the night in the port of Ancona
Flames in three caps
Last month container traffic in Hong Kong port grew by 19.1% percent.
Thanks to the rise of the noli, the monthly turnover of Evergreen and Yang Ming is growing.
Taipei / Keelung
In January the revenues of Wan Hai Lines decreased by -2.6%
Order to Vard for the design and construction of a Service Operation Vessel
Fincantieri completes acquisition of Remazel Engineering
In January, container traffic at ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Singapore was growing.
Los Angeles / Long Beach / Singapore
For the first time, Singapore's naval registry exceeds 100 million tonnes of gross tonnage
In January, freight traffic in Russian ports decreased by -6.2%
St. Petersburg
Dry loads down -5.8% percent and liquid ones by -6.5% percent
Italian Ports:
Ancona Genoa Ravenna
Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerno
Bari La Spezia Savona
Brindisi Leghorn Taranto
Cagliari Naples Trapani
Carrara Palermo Trieste
Civitavecchia Piombino Venice
Italian Interports: list World Ports: map
ShipownersShipbuilding and Shiprepairing Yards
ForwardersShip Suppliers
Shipping AgentsTruckers
On 26 and March 27 in Milan, the 8th edition of "Shipping, Forwarding & Logistics meet Industry" will be held in Milan.
Theme of the event "The future possible of productive and logistical Italy"
On Friday, a conference on the relaunch of the Tuscan Simplified Logistics Zone was held in Livorno.
It is organized by the Port Authority of the Tyrrhenian Sea North
››› Meetings File
Le transport maritime national navigue à vue
(Aujourd'hui Le Maroc)
“Israel is facing silent sanctions”
(Globes - Israel's Business Arena)
››› Press Review File
FORUM of Shipping
and Logistics
Relazione del presidente Mario Mattioli
Roma, 27 ottobre 2023
››› File
The Senate in Hamburg has approved the entry of MSC into the capital of HHLA
The corporate participation of a primary maritime carrier represents an added value for the terminalist enterprise and for the port.
In the port of Ortona, work has begun on the consolidation of the Riva quay
Intervention worth 8.6 million euros
Swiss Federal Council plans to extend the tax on heavy traffic to electric trucks
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