MSC Zoe Container Incident Highlights Ever Present Marine Risks

On New Year’s Day we witnessed the first major international shipping incident of 2019, highlighting once again the importance of marine insurance in the international moving industry.

MSC Zoe, a container ship capable of carrying over 19,000 containers was caught in a storm in the Wadden Sea as it made its way from the Belgian port of Antwerp on New Year’s Day, when more than 250 containers carrying toys, white goods, household items and toxic chemicals were swept off the ship in high seas.

In addition to the damage, loss, and fears that other ships could be damaged by the drifting cargo from the incident, concerns were also focused on the potential environmental damage. The contents of the containers, including toys, shoes, and even flat-screen TVs, washed ashore littering beaches on the Dutch islands of Vlieland, Terschellin, while part of a cargo of peroxide washed up onto the beach of the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog.

The Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) which owns the ship was quick to respond to the incident and accepted all costs for the huge cleanup operation which is being overseen by marine salvage and emergency management company Ardent Global. A number of contractors, appointed by MSC and its insurers, are also helping with salvage and beach-cleaning at the various sites.

MSC have promised customers that they will “strive to account for loss or damage to cargo, and deliver the cargo in thousands of containers which remain in good condition, as quickly as possible.”

Like the incidents in the Port of Karachi and the Tasman Sea in 2017, this latest incident is a stark reminder of the dangers that your clients’ goods face when being moved overseas. Whether it’s down to human error or acts of nature, containers lost at sea not only affects the shipping industry, it can affect the exporter, importer, trader and consumer – not to mention the impact it can have on the environment.

Many customers think of marine cargo insurance as an unnecessary expenditure, but they may not be aware of the risks associated with worldwide moves. Making sure your clients are aware of those dangers and ensuring they have the right cover will offer peace of mind while their goods are at sea.

For more information about the vital importance of marine insurance for your clients, contact us at Reason Global today.