Shipowners scramble to ensure their vessels are safe

On November 6, we posted about Peak Season Wharf Activity  and shared information about the ill-fated ship, APL Turquoise.  This vessel, a 4369 TEU (twenty equivalent unit) fully laden with Australian import cargo, was forced to return back to Singapore without discharging any containers.

After almost a week of moving from alongside Fremantle wharf, to waiting out at Gage Roads, the Maritime Union of W.A. confirmed that the vessel was rejected to be worked on due to “safe access provisions under Marine Order 32”.  This order ensures that minimum standards must be met by a vessel in order to allow it to be safely unloaded.

Whilst the APL Turquoise has since returned to Port Kelang, Malaysia, and alternative arrangements have been made for all import cargo involved, it has since been reported that this delay/stalemate has held up approx. US$130m in import cargo.  This delay has, of course, enraged importers who are already under stress from the approaching festive season.

This episode has generated other shipping lines to scramble to ensure that their vessels meet all Maritime requirements for Australia, especially the Marine Order 32 (MO32).

We hope that there is not another incident like this one, especially in this peak period.