Two anchored cargo ships collide in Singapore waters

Two cargo vessels crash in rare accident off Singapore
CYNTHIA CHOO The New Paper 5 Oct 16;

In a rare accident, two anchored cargo ships collided in Singapore waters, sending 10 containers toppling from one ship to another.

Another container fell into the sea in the crash on Friday.

The accident involving cargo ship Hanjin New York added to the woes of collapsed South Korean maritime company Hanjin Shipping.

But no oil pollution or injuries were reported.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) told The New Paper: "The Hanjin New York dragged anchor and contacted the bow of a Liberia-registered container ship, MSC Claudia.

"Ten 40-foot empty containers fell from Hanjin New York onto MSC Claudia's bow and one 40-foot empty container fell into the sea."

TNP understands that there were strong currents when the collision occurred.

It is believed to be the first case of an anchor drag collision off Singapore. TNP understands that the MPA has not come across previous anchor drag accidents.

The two cargo container vessels were anchored at Eastern Bunkering "A" near the Singapore Anchorage off Changi Naval Base when the accident happened at about 6pm.

The container that fell into the sea has been retrieved and arrangements are being made to remove the 10 containers from MSC Claudia.

The MPA spokesman said that both vessels sustained minor indentations and were later safely re-anchored.

MPA is investigating the incident.

Mr Eugene Cheng, 29, a lawyer specialising in shipping litigation from Gurbani and Co LLC, said: "One of the most common reasons why vessels collide is because of the failure of the crew to maintain a proper lookout."

Hanjin Shipping, the seventh-largest shipping carrier in the world, first made news in late August when creditors Rickmers sued the company for owing some $7.3 billion.

This led to an arrest of Hanjin's vessels, leaving more than 80 Hanjin vessels and crew onboard stranded around the globe.


One such vessel, the Hanjin Rome, was in Singapore waters when it was arrested at 9.20pm on Aug 29 and the cargo was stuck aboard along with 24 crew members - 11 South Koreans and 13 Indonesians.

TNP reported on Oct 1 that five crew members had been repatriated on Sept 27 including the vessel's former captain Moon Kwon Do, but the Hanjin Rome is still stuck in Singapore waters. An interim stay order granted by the Singapore Supreme Court on Sept 16 meant that Hanjin's vessels were allowed to berth in Singapore's ports to offload cargo.

Hanjin's vessels from the region have since made a beeline for the port of Singapore.

Hanjin Shipping's website reported that at least seven Hanjin vessels have berthed at the Tanjong Pagar Terminal since the collision happened on Friday, including the Hanjin New York.

The MPA said yesterday that there are three Hanjin vessels in Singapore.

At least two other vessels, Hanjin Netherlands and Hanjin China, are expected to berth in the next three days.

Minor ship collision involving Hanjin vessel off Singapore
Channel NewsAsia 5 Oct 16;

SINGAPORE: An anchored container ship belonging to beleaguered Hanjin Shipping made contact with another container ship in the eastern waters of Singapore last week, displacing 10 containers on board, the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) confirmed on Wednesday (Oct 5).

The incident involving Hanjin New York and Liberia-registered container ship MSC Claudia occurred at around 6pm last Friday. The Hanjin ship “dragged anchor" and contacted the bow of MSC Claudia, the MPA said in a statement in response to queries.

As a result, ten 40-foot length containers fell from Hanjin New York onto MSC Claudia’s bow and one 40-foot container fell into the sea, MPA said. The containers involved were all empty.

MPA said that the container that fell into the sea has been retrieved and arrangements are being made to remove the 10 containers from MSC Claudia.

Following the incident, both vessels, which were anchored at Eastern Bunkering “A” waiting for their respective berths, sustained minor indentations and were re-anchored safely after the incident.

No injuries or oil pollution were reported, and investigations by MPA are ongoing, it said.

A string of vessels operated by Hanjin Shipping have made their way to Singapore, following a High Court ruling which declared the Singapore port as one of the "safe havens" for the world’s seventh-biggest container line that went into court receivership last month.

According to a notice dated Oct 5 on PSA's website, at least 11 vessels belonging to the shipping giant have called and departed from local ports. Two others including Hanjin New York berthed at the terminal on Tuesday and are estimated to leave by Thursday.

At least two other vessels are expected to call at Singapore's ports this week, according to the notice.

Hanjin Group CEO apologises for shipping chaos
Today Online 5 Oct 16;

SEOUL — The chairman of South Korea’s Hanjin Group has apologised for the “cargo chaos” caused by the collapse of its shipping unit, but insisted the company could, and should, be salvaged.

Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh largest shipping company, is seeking bankruptcy protection at home and in the US after creditors rejected its latest plan to deal with a US$5.37 billion (S$7.36 billion) debt.

Its bankruptcy would be by far the largest in the history of container shipping, which is suffering its worst downturn in six decades because of slumping global trade and a slowdown in China.

“I apologise to the public for causing concern over the cargo chaos,” Mr Cho Yang-Ho, chairman and CEO of Hanjin Group, was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying on Tuesday (Oct 4). “But I want to say that we have done everything we can do to save the shipper,” Mr Cho told a parliamentary hearing.

Hanjin Group, which also owns Korean Air, is providing 100 billion won (S$123 million) in emergency funds to the troubled shipping unit, which includes a personal donation of 40 billion won from Mr Cho.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, online shopping services provider Ezbuy said eight of its containers were affected by the Hanjin incident, affecting about 8,000 shoppers.

Ezbuy (formerly known as 65Daigou) helps shoppers buy and ship their goods from, among others, Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao. It offers a Prime membership that allows shoppers to ship an unlimited number of items to Singapore for a rate of S$2.99.

Ezbuy said it received news that eight of its containers were affected early last month, with delays ranging between a few days and two weeks

Most of the containers contained bulky items such as furniture, light fittings, home and gardening items ordered by its Prime members.

“The impact was quite intensive. Eight containers could (mean) 8,000 customers were affected by the delay,” Ezbuy co-founder Liu Wenyu told TODAY. “We engaged help from other freight forwarders to get our containers and re-shipped them to Singapore, that’s why the longest delay was two weeks,” she added.

“Upon receiving the news, we contacted the relevant parties immediately to find the status of the affected containers and the scale of the impact. We tried our best to get those containers re-shipped to Singapore and in the meantime also sent emails to affected customers to update them of the situation and let them know when they could expect their items. By Sept 23, all affected items had been resolved.”

In addition to causing delays to its customers, the Hanjin incident has also made a dent on Ezbuy’s finances.

“For some severely delayed items, we compensated customers according to our on-time shipment guarantee policy, even though this was something out of our control (and) we could be exempted from the policy,” Ms Liu said.

But because of the sheer size of Hanjin in the industry and its capacity, its collapse could have wider ramifications, Ms Liu said.

“Not only did we have to pay a premium to get other freight forwarder to help us quickly fulfill those eight affected containers, we foresee in the upcoming peak shopping season, freight costs will rise due to demand and supply imbalance,” she added.

However, she added, Ezbuy does not have plans to revise its shipping charges because it “wish to minimise the impact on our customers”. WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LEE YEN NEE

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