Cargo Container Damage in Honolulu Hawaii

Massive winds and waves pummel M.V. Horizon Hunter

72 hour storm gale produces heavy winds and 26+ foot waves

As originally reported by KITV news (Honolulu) and also reported by The Honolulu Advertiser, along with several other news sources via Google, the MV Horizon Hunter sustained high seas which resulted in a cargo (container) loss.  The Hunter is a container ship that arrived in Honolulu Harbor yesterday with at least twelve inland marine containers hanging in a rather “stormy” fashion across her deck.  The ship is owned and managed by Horizon Lines shipping.

MV Horizon Hunter Bow View

MV Horizon Hunter Bow View & Cargo Damages

Cargo Containers spill over side of Marine Vessel

Cargo Containers spill over side of Marine Vessel

The vessel was in transit from Los Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI but no reports clearly identified her destination, with mentions of the Horizon Lines CHX (California-Hawaii Express Service) or Midweek Express Service (MWX) routes.  According to Phillip A. Crimaldi, Vice President of Cargo Survey and Investigation Operations at Peak Claims – Denver, “the vessel would have likely been in route to Guam as shown on the Horizon Lines schedule posted through their site.”

Reefer and standard marine containers from SafMarine, NYK, Hanjin, and others could be seen on deck from photos taken by Honolulu Advertiser reporter/photographer, Richard Ambo.

Containers over side of ship

Damages cargo containers

According to several reports the vessel had lost at least 6 containers to the sea that fell overboard during the transit.  It is not known if the crew was forced to jettison the cargo although, if high seas were the cause of the damage, it would have been unlikely the crew was about the deck releasing cargo.

Currently only a few damaged containers remain on the vessel at this time; several have already been removed. The question among the independent adjusting and claim community remains, who will get to survey all of this damage?

Marine Cargo Container and content Damages

Marine Cargo Container and Content Damages

Mr. Crimaldi indicated, “It is possible that several containers of cargo were damaged, but if exterior damage to the containers is not evident during this port stop in Honolulu, then those damages will likely not be known until devanning takes place at the nearest port to the consignee or scheduled drop”.  Mr. Crimaldi also noted that “surveyors will likely see consistent claims come in depending on where these containers end up” and that “it appears the vessel was headed to Guam, then Saipan and Rota/Tinian with stops stateside starting in Houston after, but that is several weeks away.  It’s important to remember that although some containers sustained evident damage, the ship owners have every right and interest to continue their route as scheduled to keep costs to a minimum and profits at a maximum, particularly when there was no evident damage to the ship itself.  For these reasons, surveyors will likely handle all evident damage surveys port-side, even though the consignee could be elsewhere in the world.  It’s important to note that photos depict damages to reefer containers to which damages can far exceed those normally found in static containers.”

Heavily wrecked containers from high seas

Heavily wrecked containers from high seas

Based on an evident 20 containers that could end up as total losses it’s possible damages will exceed one million dollars, depending on the contents of the containers.

According to other reports there were no crew injuries and the ship will continue, most likely on schedule.

Peak Claims is a professional insurance claim services company specializing in Cargo Damage Surveys, Independent Adjusting and Loss Recovery Investigations.  Phillip A. Crimaldi is the Director of Operations and is an experienced cargo damage surveyor and recovery investigator who has handled multi-million dollar losses of damaged and break-bulk and container goods for multiple carriers.  Visit Peak Claims on the web at

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