EN ROUTE to Los Angeles from the Port of Busan on 30 December, Evergreen Marine’s container ship Ever Liberal lost 36 containers over board.

In a statement issued on 2 January, Evergreen said the incident happened when the Ever Liberal encountered strong winds about 20 nautical miles off Kyushu, which caused the 40-foot containers to fall into the sea.

The weather conditions also caused a further 21 containers to fall onto the deck.

Evergreen also said that it is engaged in salvage operations to retrieve the drifting containers.

The company said that no personnel were injured in the incident, and none of the containers contained dangerous goods. The ship’s captain immediately notified Japan Coast Guard so that ships in adjacent waters could be notified about the drifting containers.

The Ever Liberal was been diverted to the Port of Taipei to take stock of the damaged cargo before resuming its journey to Los Angeles, the company said.

According to the World Shipping Council’s Containers Lost at Sea 2020 update, an average of 1382 containers were lost at sea every year between 2008 and 2019.

The statistics are skewed by catastrophic casualties, such as the 2013 sinking of the MOL Comfort that resulted in a loss of 4,293 containers and others.

Between 2017 and 2019, the industry managed to reduce the average loss per year to 779.