OOCL’s Mega Boxship Grounds in Suez Canal

Image Courtesy: OOCL

Orient Overseas Container Line’s (OOCL) new 21,000+ TEU size containership briefly ran aground in the Suez Canal on October 18, the company confirmed to World Maritime News.

The 21,413 TEU ultra large container vessel (ULCV) was en route from Singapore to the UK, data provided by VesselsValue shows.

“During OOCL Japan’s transit through the Suez Canal on October 18, the vessel experienced mechanical problems and because of that, the ship went off course and was grounded in the sands,” OOCL’s spokesperson told World Maritime News.

“With the help of tugboats, the vessel was re-floated within a few hours time and continued its transit through the canal,” the spokesperson added.

An investigation into the actual cause of the grounding has been launched, according to the company.

The 399.9-meter-long OOCL Japan was named at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje Island on September 1, 2017. It is the company’s third boxship in a series of six 21K+ vessels.

The ship is serving the Asia-Europe trade lane on the LL1 service and its port rotation is: Shanghai / Ningbo / Xiamen / Yantian / Singapore / via Suez Canal / Felixstowe / Rotterdam / Gdansk / Wilhelmshaven / Felixstowe / via Suez Canal / Singapore / Yantian / Shanghai in a 77-day round trip.

In July, Kea Trader, one more brand new containership, ran aground off New Caledonia. The vessel hit the Durand Reef, some 100 kilometers southeast of the island of Mare. Refloating attempts have been unsuccessful until now and a new plan to move the stranded boxship from the reef is to be made.

A month later, another ULCV grounded on the Westerschelde estuary near Bath, the Netherlands, closing the shipping traffic in the estuary. The 366-meter-long CSCL Jupiter ran aground on August 14. The vessel was subsequently refloated and the assessment showed that there was no visible damage on the ship.

World Maritime News Staff

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