Disaster strikes with overweight containers

Disaster strikes with overweight containers

Every container thats weight is not declared properly can have catastrophic results.  Below is just a small list of incidents that have occurred due to mis-declared container weights.

January 2006

Crushing of containers in stack by overweight containers aboard the containership P&O Nedlloyd Genoa, which lead to a domino-effect of container-stack toppling and collapses.

(image credit: maritimedirectory.com)

January 2007

Loss of the MSC Napoli which broke up owing, in part, to overweight containers. The total weight of 137 overweight containers was 312 tonnes heavier than the cargo manifest.

(image credit: cargolaw.com)

February 2007
Collapse of containers in a stack aboard the container ship Limari, berthed in Damietta, Egypt. Weighting devices on the salvage crane confirmed that the actual weight exceeded the declared weights on at least four containers.  They were overweight by 407%,393%,362% and 209% respectively.

June 2010
Longoni, Brazil – a reach stacker toppled forward and was damaged beyond repair as the actual weight of the container was 30,220kgs which was far in excess of the declared gross weight of 16,890kgs.

January 2011
Beira, Mozambique – lighting mechanism on a ship to shore crane fails, causing a container to plummet onto a containership.  The investigation reveals that the container weight was declared at 25,000kgs actually weighs 46,000kgs.

February 2011

Overweight container crashed into an Australian wharf, the container was declared at 4,000kgs, but was, according to union sources, actually 28,000kgs which overloaded the crane.

(image credit: maritimedirectory.com)

May 2011

Overweight container causes a forklift to topple forward in West Melbourne

(image credit maritimedirectory.com)

June 2011


The loss of the container ship Deneb in Algeciras (Spain) which listed and capsized at the berth. This was owing to one out of every ten containers being grossly overweight by a factor of 1.9 to 6.7 times the declared figure.

(image credit: seanews.com)

December 2011

Containership (identity and location have been kept confidential) narrowly avoids grounding by dumping ballast after the master realizes the containers are overweight and have caused his ship to have a deeper draught than calculated.

Correct declaration of container weights is essential in shipping to avoid these above (& more) problems.  If you have any queries regarding container weight declaration or the new laws being introduced, please kindly contact us.

Source: The Lloyd’s List Australia & Maritime Directory

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