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Mega box ship bulletin, July 2019

News & Insights 10 July 2019

As the size of container ships has steadily increased, so has the level of difficulty in handling casualties involving them. This special edition of the standard bulletin looks at the different legal, technical and practical considerations.

Ultra large container ships, or mega box ships as they are commonly called, can have a carrying capacity in excess of 20,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent units) and are frequently in excess of 14,500 TEU.

This can have a considerable impact in the event of a casualty. This special edition of the standard bulletin looks at the different legal, technical and practical considerations.

The bulletin is available for download on the right. 


  1. An overview of the insurance implications of a mega box ship casualty

    Revecca Vasiliou and Ursula O'Donnell, The Standard Club
    An outline of how P&I insurance can respond to the various third-party liabilities that can arise from such a casualty.
  2. The technical challenges of mega box ship casualties

    Simon Burnay, Waves Group
    The article focuses on the initial response phase of the casualty, highlighting the importance of having an accurate container stowage plan if cargo lightering operations are required to refloat the vessel or tow it to a port of refuge.
  3. Finding a port or place of refuge

    Nick Barber, Stephenson Harwood
    The difficulty of identifying a suitable port of refuge given the size and draft of mega box ships and the number of containers on board. 
  4. If General Average is declared...

    Amy O'Neill, Richards Hogg Lindley
    Explaining the principle of GA and how it will be applied in such a casualty.
  5. Post-casualty management of the cargo

    Gianluca Rolff, TMC Marine
    This article provides practical advice on how to handle the complex logistical task of managing distressed and undamaged containers following a mega box ship incident.
  6. Responding to a mega box ship casualty – a salvor’s perspective

    Richard Janssen, SMIT Salvage
    This article gives a personal view of the most important considerations for shipowners and salvors when faced with a mega box ship casualty.
  7. The role of the SCR in the salvage of mega box ships

    Nick Haslam, Brookes Bell
    This article uses an SCR’s insight to consider the salvage priorities for a mega box ship casualty.
  8. Investigating fires in box ship casualties

    Daniel Jackson, Dr JH Burgoyne & Partners DMCC
    The investigation of the cause of a cargo fire or explosion on a mega box ship can be a complex affair involving a number of different scientific disciplines. This article outlines some key considerations.
  9. The pollution risk from mega box ships

    Tim Wadsworth, ITOPF Limited
    A mega box ship has an environmental risk commensurate with its size. Following an incident, the pollution response would need to match.
  10. Mega box ship casualty – the shipboard response

    John Dolan, The Standard Club
    The master and crew of a mega box ship must be suitably prepared for the potential risks faced at sea.
  11. Legal implications of a mega box ship casualty: Limitation and cargo claims

    Tony Goldsmith and Marina Taouxi, Hill Dickinson
    A summary of the shipowner’s legal right to limit its liability in respect of cargo claims and other liabilities that can arise, including collision, personal injury and wreck removal.
  12. Transboundary movement of waste

    Tom Peter Blankestijn, Sea2Cradle
    The implications when the ship itself or hazardous materials on board need to be disposed of under international waste regulations.
  13. Losing control of the beach was just the icing on the cake

    Mark Clark, MTI Network
    An insight into the role of the media consultant and how they can assist when shipowners are handling such a casualty, since it is likely to provoke intense media scrutiny.

Categories: Bills of Lading, Cargo, Major Casualty Management

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