On January 25th, Hapag-Lloyd declared general average on the 7,510-TEU containership Yantian Express. The vessel and cargo in hold 1 and 2 sustained fire, smoke, and firefighting water damage during its voyage from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. General average is a principle of maritime law where all parties involved in the journey are asked to pay a proportional share of the loss, including all lost cargo and damage to the ship.
Currently, the vessel is underway and is expected to arrive in Freeport, Bahamas, next week for recovery and assessment of the cargo. Shippers with goods on board should expect significant delays in recovering their cargo, as well as substantial costs.
Hapag-Lloyd has appointed Richards Hogg Lindley, general average and salvage adjusters, as collecting agents to prepare and obtain the general average and salvage security from shippers. Cargo will only be released after the required securities have been paid, and it could be weeks before the security amounts are established.
In addition to the securities, shippers may still be responsible for the cost of moving their goods to their intended destination—New York, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Norfolk were ports of call en route to Halifax.
Deringer will continue to directly advise clients with goods on board the Yantian Express. Please contact us if you have questions about general average or cargo insurance.