MOL Ship Splits

A few days ago, an MOL container ship split in half in the middle of the Indian Ocean and now it is all over the news. While this is not normally worldwide news for people outside the shipping industry, this container ship is said to be carrying 4,500 shipping containers filled with arms headed for Syrian rebels. This has left many people wondering what all of this will mean, not just for worldwide politics, but in the case of freight forwarders, for the shipping industry specifically as well.

We in the shipping industry are not usually used at pawns in country to country conflicts. Of course there is a certain role for ships, but the international container shipping industry is not looking to be a part of a new world war. International trade is affected enough by wars without being pulled into the political scene. What will happen will depend on what is determined to be the actual cause of the split. According to some experts cargo weight distribution is likely the cause. Maybe some or all of the containers did not have the proper weights on the paperwork for loading on to the ship. This type of paperwork is usually covered when shipping ocean freight cargo. Others think this is an all too convenient explanation. Many say that anti-aircraft carrier torpedoes may be to blame since they are designed to burst below a ship and cause stress on the vessel.

If it is about weight distribution, then MOL will have serious issues, but if it is political, the entire shipping industry may be affected. The world’s economies are still not bouncing back as fast as economists would like and adding container ships into war can only further slowdown shipping. No matter the reason for the sinking of this ship, this is not good for MOL and not good for the shipping industry as a whole.