Declare the actual item name; Do not misreport!

Recently, CMA CGM issued an announcement to its customers stating that the large container ship “NORTHERN JUVENILE,” which the company leases, caught fire while sailing from Singapore to Pointe-Noire.

Currently, the shipowner is working hard to ensure the safety of the crew on board and to carry out firefighting efforts. The schedule may be severely delayed.

Below is the customer notice issued by CMA CGM regarding this incident:

According to the information available, the shipowner of the vessel is the German ship financing company Norddeutsche Vermögen, and the ship management company is V.Ships Hamburg GmbH, also based in Germany. The vessel is flagged under Portugal, built in 2009, with a capacity of 8811 TEU.

It is currently leased by CMA CGM and deployed on the ASAFGR (Asia West Africa Service) route from Asia to West Africa.

The “NORTHERN JUVENILE” was fully loaded with Chinese goods. According to the voyage information from MarineTraffic, the vessel called at Qingdao Port on May 7-8, Shanghai Port on May 9-10, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port on May 10-11, and Nansha Port on May 13-14.

According to the information available, the cargo on board the “NORTHERN JUVENILE” may involve multiple slot-sharing shipping companies, including CMA CGM, Maersk, COSCO Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, and OOCL.

The “NORTHERN JUVENILE” may involve the following slot-sharing shipping companies and their respective route codes:

  1. CMA CGM – ASAFGR route
  2. Maersk – FW6 route
  3. COSCO – WAX4 route
  4. Hapag-Lloyd – AWA route
  5. OOCL – WAF4 route

It is worth noting that in the notice, CMA CGM specifically reminded customers that the shipowner has requested assistance and signed an LOF (Lloyd’s Open Form) salvage contract, which is a common procedure for the subsequent declaration of general average.

According to maritime law related to liability for compensation, CMA CGM will not bear any compensation unless the claimant can prove that the fire was caused by the carrier.

CMA CGM strongly recommends that this incident be immediately reported to cargo insurers.

Based on the latest voyage trajectory of the “NORTHERN JUVENILE,” the vessel has been stranded in the incident area for several days following the fire. The severity of the fire remains unknown, and cargo owners need to closely monitor the situation.

Referencing historical cases, it is highly likely that the shipowner will declare general average, which may result in no compensation for cargo owners and the need to bear additional costs.

General average is a legal principle in maritime law that, during the same sea voyage, when a vessel, cargo, and other properties face a common danger, any extraordinary sacrifices made or expenses incurred for the common safety are to be proportionally shared by all beneficiaries.

Given that the “NORTHERN JUVENILE” has called at several Chinese ports and involves multiple potential slot-sharing shipping companies, all cargo loaded on this vessel bound for West Africa is likely to face delays or even damage.

We particularly remind foreign trade exporters and freight forwarding and logistics companies who recently loaded cargo onto this vessel to promptly contact the shipping company to understand the status of their cargo and the impact of the incident on subsequent schedules!

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