The discharge of containers from the fire-damaged Yantian Express began Tuesday and is expected to take at least 12 days, said Ocean Network Express (ONE), an alliance partner of shipowner Hapag-Lloyd, Thursday in a customer advisory.
More than 3,200 containers will have to be discharged in Halifax and is estimated to take 85 hours of work. The ship, which arrived at the port Monday and was berthed at the terminal early Tuesday morning, will have to shift along the berth at times to allow access for regularly scheduled vessels before shifting back to resume cargo operations, ONE said.
The containers, once ashore, will be stacked separately into those for which general average and salvage security have been provided and those that remain unsecured. Unsecured containers cannot be released from the terminal until all appropriate security has been provided and release is confirmed by general average and salvage adjuster Richards Hogg Lindley.
“In respect of the forwarding of secured containers to final destination, please appreciate that the terminal cannot dig out or ‘cherry pick’ specific containers once stacked ashore,” ONE said in the advisory. “Thus, secured containers will be moved to the rail (or transshipment vessel) for delivery in the most efficient and expedient manner in order to speed up the overall handling.”
The Yantian Express also must backload empty containers to achieve the necessary stability for a passage to Asia, where it will undergo permanent repairs. A Hapag-Lloyd spokesperson in April said the 7,150-TEU Yantian Express is scheduled to call a Chinese repair yard in early August for final steel works.
The ship departed last week from Freeport, Bahamas, where it had been berthed since Feb. 4 for repairs after suffering a container fire in early January. The ship had 3,875 containers on board at the time of the incident and 320 were a total loss, Hapag-Lloyd said.