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THIS IS PAGE 2 -- Feature Updates

Readers Note: This Feature Has Now Moved Forward To 3 Pages:

Page 1 M/V Hyundai Fortune - Initial Reports

Page 2 M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 23 To Present - Daily On-Scene Commentary (below) - Now Under Tow -New Controversy Was The Cause Sinister?

Updates Below

Page 3 Dramatic Photos of The M/V Hyundai Fortune Aftermath - Nothing like this since 1945 in the Pacific.

On March 24 We Were Practically Shut Down Due To The High Traffic -- We Were Overcome. These pages load slowly due to high site traffic.

Oct. 30 2007 - A Continuing Tribute To Marty

Current Day


Page 2

M/V Hyundai Fortune

On The Scene In The Gulf of Aden !

Feature Date: March, 2006 & Continuing

Event Date: March 21, 2006

Countryman & McDaniel

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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene -- The Gulf of Aden !

 A 2006 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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Page 2

On The Scene

The Gulf of Aden

M/V Hyundai Fortune


A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: March 21 2006

The Time: Day

The Place: Gulf of Aden - Off Yemen

M/V Hyundai Fortune is in deep trouble -- crew abaandoned & evacuated. Note depth of fire in aft hull for this 5,550 TEU vessel.

American Maritime Lawyers Know M/V Hyundai Fortune From Her Prominence in U.S. Commerce.

Vessel was Korea for Rotterdam. She is insured by Britannia Steamship.

M/V Hyundai Fortune continues to burn -- Svitzer Wijsmuller appointed to salvage.

 Dutch Navy frigate HNLMS De Zeven Provincien, command ship of Combined Task Force 150 stands by M/V Hyundai Fortune as she burns --

M/V Hyundai Fortune burns as the dreams of thousands go up in that smoke.

Merchants whose last hope was the baby strollers. DVDs, tractor parts, furniture or chemical solvent which were abaord M/V Hyundai Fortune.

March 23 - Blaze Continues - Salvage Begins
Several resources from SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage yesterday, March 22 moved in to and closer towards the site of the M/V Hyundai Fortune. The fire fighting tug M/V Wadi Hassan with an initial salvage team of 7 salvage/fire fighting experts and basic support equipment arrived on site March 21 afternoon.

The SvitzerWijsmuller fire fighting tug M/V Rakhyut (ETA on site March 24) and SvitzerWijsmuller ocean going tug M/V Smitwijs Rotterdam (ETA March 24) continue toward M/V Hyundai Fortune at full speed. Another tug will be mobilized from Hodeida to Aden in order to possibly be transferred into a fire fighting tug with mobile equipment being flown in. Further teams and salvage & fire fighting equipment is being mobilized in as the need arises.

Close co-ordination and contact is being maintained between the SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage co-ordination center and the frigates HNLMS De Zeven Provincien -- and later the HMS Lancaster, which has also taken up station off the casualty. During mobilization of M/V Wadi Hassan with the salvage team on board, a rendezvous between the tug and HNLMS De Zeven Provincien was arranged for a briefing. Three essential crew from the casualty were taken over to the briefing for specific assistance. The remaining crew of the casualty was transferred off Yemen territorial waters by the Dutch Navy ship for repatriation.

The salvage team arrived in Yemen & departed Aden on the tug still within 24 hours after the initial blast, arriving at the casualty (140 miles off Aden) within 24 hours after departure from Amsterdam Airport.

Upon arrival on site and after an initial inspection, M/V Wadi Hassan started fire fighting activities. The work is concentrated at the moment on the first line of containers in front of the bridge, with the fire having progressed from the stern through the accommodation to the containers on the fore ship. The aim at the moment is to stop the fire progressing before actually attacking the fire in the accommodation and the stern when further resources are on site.

From our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen (Thurs. March 23 2006)

The Grand Prix --

Aboard M/V Hyundai Fortune is a brand new £250,000 air-barrier that is to be used on the safety fence at all ten rounds of the Grand Prix racing world championship SGP Series. John Postlethwaite, Chief Executive, BSI, said: "From the details and pictures we have received it looks like the ship transporting the new air barrier from Australia is still on fire and we will not find out for many days if the barrier has been affected by the blaze. Thankfully we still have the air-barrier from last year's Series so safety will not be compromised at the Grands Prix."

Quote From on Scene --

"It appears that some fuel tanks are very hot & possibly are on fire. At the aft end of the ship the hole is such that one can see right through the ship."

"The Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated" -- Mark Twain

A report from the Yemeni state news agency Saba said the 5,550-teu M/V Hyundai Fortune (built 1996) has already sunk 130 NM off Aden following the blaze on March 21. Hence we have been receiving these rumors all day long. We rechecked our photos of M/V Hyundai Fortune from March 23 and reconfirmed the absence of Alzheimer's. This may explain why neither CNN nor Fox are headquarted in Yemin.

Let me tell you -- M/V Hyundai Fortune is NOT SINKING! But she is in bad shape.


March 24 - M/V Hyundai Fortune Did Not Sink! What News Are You Listening To?

All deck containers aft of the bridge & accommodation have been destroyed. In addition, the fire has worked its way through the accommodation and has destroyed the stack immediately forward of the bridge, meaning that, as of last night, the ten forward stacks remain unaffected. The engine room has been totally flooded. Cargo complement for this voyage was 3100 containers. Tugs from SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage remainon scene, fighting the fire forward of the bridge.

A substantial number of containers cargoes that were destined for the United States under some bills of lading which mandate U.S. law and jurisdiction.

Underwriting circles are now predicting that the gross loss, as a result of this casualty, will exceed the 2002 catastrophic fire aboard M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania. The next quetion is which port will afford the hulk a port of refuge. Theories abound as to the cause and origin of the fire one of which points to the seven containers of fireworks laden aboard the ill-fated vessel. We are told that these boxes were stowed in the bays where the initial explosion occurred, and that they were loaded in China, bound for Hamburg and LeHavre.

We have information concerning the cause of the loss and will share this with you tomorrow. If you think of M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania - then think of fireworks!

March 25 - The Rescued State of M/V Hyundai Fortune -- Expert Eyewitness Analysis For The Cargo Letter --
"Returned to Hyundai Fortune this evening. As of evening of 25 March, Hyundai Fortune was in position 12-17N 046-27E (about 60 miles downwind from her initial position on 21 March). Ocean Salvage Tug M/V Smit-Wijs Rotterdam (22,000 HP) had Hyundai Fortune in tow, just holding the ship's bow into the wind to aid in residual fire-fighting. Two smaller tugs, including Rakhyut, alongside Hyundai Fortune.

Container stacks aft of the superstructure are gone. Assume they were consumed by fire and/or washed overboard by high-pressure fire-fighting monitors, as no cargo-handling equipment available to jettison. A couple of small piles of smouldering debris on the after deck, but raging fire is extinguished. Obvious fire damage to superstructure, but not a completely gutted look. Hull heavily burned up to forward edge of superstructure, suggesting that engine room was completely consumed by fire. Much of the paint still remains on parts of the superstructure. Two rows of containers just forward of the superstructure showed some fire damage, but not destroyed or obviously buckled/collapsed. Remainder of forward deck cargo appeared (from a couple of miles off) to be in good condition."

Captain Wade Armstrong, Master, USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) On Staition in the Gulf of Aden

Mariners at risk on the ocean frontier know that their greatest protection is the dedication of officers & crew aboard free world naval vessels on patrol in far waters tonight. We owe these professionals a debt ... and always have.


As reported by Captain Wade Armstrong - M/V Hyundai Fortune is now under tow of Ocean Salvage Tug M/V Smit-Wijs Rotterdam

March 25 - Cause And Effect? --
The Cause -- Reports are that 7 containers in the aft container stacks of M/V Hyundai Fortune were laden with fireworks. A spokesman at Hyundai Merchant Marine Legal Dept. confirms the number of containers containers with fireworks was 7. They may have been the source of an explosion & subsequent blaze on board . The 7 containers of fireworks belong to a Hong Kong manufacturer and were destined for Hamburg and Le Havre.

Indeed the disaster of M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania was a cautionary tale. M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania which suffered the same "fireworks fate" a Hanjin vessel, not a Hyundai vessel. It is the duty of shippers, not mariners to prevent these needless disasters.

In some of our photos you can see remains of a container, collapsed atop the first stack forward of the accommodation -- this said to be one of the exploded fireworks laden container.

The Effect -- Rotterdam sources show next port for M/V Hyundai Fortune as Dubai. Given available container ports coupled with robust ship repair facilities, this is the most logical destination to take M/V Hyundai Fortune for offload and repair, assuming she is not declared a constructive total loss. Next closest port with both robust container facilities and capable repair facilities would be. Mumbai (Bombay).

So ends Voyage 333W of the container Motor Vessel Hyundai Fortune. Will she sail again? Truly a "MIS-FORTUNE".

March 28 - Expert Says Fireworks NOT The Cause --

"In your report of M/V Hyundai Fortune on March 25th, you claim that 7 containers were a possible cause of the accident.

"Before I go any further, permit me to introduce myself. I am president and owne of Quality Logistics Inc, San Carlos CA, the largest logistics service provider in the fireworks industry between China and US. I spent 23 years with Maersk Line from Copenhagen to head of Maersk pacific until 1979. then Area VP at APL and head of APL north America till 1981. Then founder/managing director of Seawinds Limited, a transpacific ocean carrier employing four 1500 TEU container vessels with shareholders NIKE, Harrison Line and Nedlloyd. Since 1994 founder and president of Quality Logistics Inc.

In 2002 when M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania had an accident off Colombo, I managed an expert investigation to address what caused the accident or rather to establish if fireworks were the cause. I can provide the final report to you which concluded beyond any reasonable doubt that fireworks were not the cause.

"When M/V Hyundai Fortune had her accident this month I was in China. I met with Hyundai managers last week, March 23, in HKG, and Yes, 7 containers were loaded on holds 7 and 8 in HKG. There are no manufacturers in HKG. I have since learned that there were 5 containers of class 1.3G on the vessel. The fire started below deck and the fireworks containers (the 7) were loaded properly on the after part of hold 8. Thus they could not have been the cause of the fire/accident. As you correctly report, there are numerous speculations, from an engine room fire, a crew member set the fire, a terrorist attack etc but fireworks were not the cause. I have specific confirmation from Hyundai's hazardous managers in Seoul that fireworks were not the cause.

Fireworks are for entertainment but are classified under explosives as Class 1.4G (consumer fireworks) and class 1.3G (display fireworks handled only by professionals). A container of fireworks to US is subject to very tight regulations under DOT, USCG, US CBP, ATF and CPSC and all products are packaged under specific regulations under DOT (The APA Standard 87-1). Fireworks in containers are not "dangerous" as long as stowage & handling follows the strict guidelines."

Bengt Henriksen - Quality Logistics Inc

March 28 -Another Expert Says Bad Stow --

"From only a review of the photos, this is a classic example of misdeclaration by the cargo agents / booking agents. No competent C/officer in his right mind would accept IMDG class 1.xx boxes to be stowed underdeck, nor behind the accomodation. To compound this by co-loading additional DG cargo is nothing short of suicidal…..

"I would have to lay the blame for this squarely on the combined efforts of the booking agents, cargo agents, ships planners and terminal authorities at the loading port. In my exerience with loading boxships (+- 10 years managing a stevedoring company), the C/O, if he has any doubts about the contents or validity of IMDG packing declarations, would decline to load the boxes, or insist on them being removed from the vessel. This is probably one or two rungs up the ladder from under declaring cargo mass in a loaded container. This misguided practice often leads to containers being crushed due to excessive stack weights. Somehow the responsible parties feel that they are saving on costs by showing their boxes ae lighter than actually are the case. This also leads to problems with road haulers, who find themselves on the receiving end of the traffic authorities ire when carrying excessive loads by road."

Jim Page

March 31 - Analysis of Bengt Henriksen Supported -- Not Fireworks ....

"Explosions that ripped apart M/V Hyundai Fortune last week were so powerful that the original theory of fireworks catching alight is being discounted in some circles.

"Instead, experts are turning their attention to other explanations after studying new photographs of the containership that reveal in far more detail the full extent of the devastation. The rear section of the 5,551 teu vessel has been almost totally destroyed by the fire that has blazed for the past week. Damage to the hull, which is almost split in two, has raised suspicions "that it may not have been fireworks" which caused the accident, the TT Club's chief executive Paul Neagle told a press conference to announce the mutual insurer's latest results.

"The stern of M/V Hyundai Fortune has been burned out and the hull holed, raising questions about whether some external force was responsible. Fireworks or other hazardous cargoes would have been in containers above deck, whereas M/V Hyundai Fortune appears to have been rocked by explosions below deck. While reluctant to speculate publicly, industry sources have started to consider in private whether the vessel could have been the target of a piracy or terrorist attack, or even hit a mine. The vessel was 60 miles off the Yemeni coast when the blaze broke out. Another possibility could have been a gas or fuel tank exploding, said one expert. The crew was evacuated with just one injury. The TT Club estimates that at least 500 containers on the vessel have been destroyed. The value of the boxes on the burning vessel is put at around US$8M to US$9M, and will contribute to the general average. Most were insured through the TT Club. Regardless of the eventual conclusions of inspectors investigating the disaster, the TT Club yesterday expressed concern about the problems of knowing exactly what is loaded in containers.

"With some lines now refusing to accept certain chemicals or other potentially unstable freight, the TT Club said there are suspicions that "fraud" is taking place with some shippers allegedly misdeclaring consignments and putting vessels and crews in danger.

March 31 -Lloyd's Press Article Shows Impact To Marine Insurance Market .....

London, Mar 28 - Insurance costs are mounting across the board as the full impact of M/V Hyundai Fortune blaze becomes clearer. Marine cargo experts at insurance broking group Aon estimated that cargo values could be at least US$300M - three times as much as the most pessimistic first estimates. At Lloyd's, meanwhile, specialists unofficially estimated that M/V Hyundai Fortune and other casualties of the past week could add 15-20 points to the market's marine loss ratio, potentially plunging it into negative territory. Marine has suffered in recent years from having a narrow premium base, especially on the hull side. The insurance damage is spread far wider than Lloyd's. Appeals from clients to top law firm Clyde & Co for assistance & advice lent credence to talk that a massive loss is in prospect, whatever happens now to the ravaged ship. Philip Roose, an equity partner at Clyde, said that he and his colleagues had received instructions so far from marine insurers in South Korea, Japan, the UK and Europe relating to cargo valued at in excess of US$50M. Mike Pollard, another Clyde partner, has been asked to deal with salvage questions. In turn, Clyde has been in urgent talks with leading fire experts and cargo surveyors. Aon Marine put its record value estimate on the cargo because of the likelihood that it includes a significant number of high technology goods. A salvage contract has been signed, and the shipowner has declared general average, both of which will require contribution from cargo owners, even if their cargo is unaffected by the fire, said Aon. The broker said that salvage charges and general average costs are standard inclusions in a cargo policy and these costs should therefore be covered by insurance. Although many Far Eastern insurers are seen as having a significant exposure, London and European markets are providing reinsurance.
Thanks to our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen

April 11 -The Tow To Salalah

Singapore-flagged M/V Hyundai Fortune is being towed to Salalah, Oman after she was severely damaged in a blaze during a voyage through the Indian Ocean. She is expected to reach Salalah April 12 -- given permission to enter Omani waters after ensuring all relevant safeguards were fully in place.

"In keeping with Oman's obligations as a signatory to various Int'l maritime conventions authorities decided to respond to M/V Hyundai Fortune's request, after fully taking into consideration all relevant safety and environmental issues," said Sayyid Sulaiman Mohammed Al Busaidy, Superintendent General of Pollution Control at the Oman Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment & Water Resources.

April 18 - Port Tug Takes Over In Omani Territorial Waters

A SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage BV report states: "During the past few days the convoy, consisting of M/V Hyundai Fortune under tow of tug M/V SmitWijs Rotterdam & escorted by a fire-fighting tug, proceeded to and kept going in the border area between Yemen & Oman. The fire-fighting/salvage team of SvitzerWijsmuller continued activities on board the casualty, attacking the last hot spots and maintaining control over the vessel. On Apr 13 the convoy moved into the Omani Economic Zone after the tow was handed over to tug M/V Mahanuwara, which had been mobilized in from Sri Lanka. Today, Apr 14, the convoy was allowed into the Omani territorial waters to anchor at Salalah Anc." (releaed April 18)

April 21 - Port Tug Takes Over In Omani Territorial Waters

A SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage BV report, dated today, states: "After M/V Hyundai Fortune had been towed into Port Salalah Apr 17 & with the actual discharge starting soon after, discharge of the sound and (most of the) wet containers was completed early April 20 morning. The vessel was then towed out of port and anchored at Port Salalah anchorage for further preparations for towing it, with some damaged containers remaining on board, to next destination.

In total 2,249 containers were discharged in Port Salalah during a period of less than 2 days according to a detailed discharge plan prepared by SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage BV specialists. The plan incorporated the discharge sequence of the containers and, simultaneously, the necessary ballasting activities that had to be executed to ensure stresses remained within acceptable limits. A complicating factor in the process was the fact that the vessel's own ballast system could not be used anymore and that, as such, alternative means had to be engaged to achieve the required result.

April 23 - Looking At The Numbers

With M/V Hyundai Fortune safely in Port Salalah let's look at the potential cost. The M/V Hyundai Fortune hull is insured for US$70M by Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance in South Korea with part of the placement finding a path into the London market. A 20-foot container and its cargo is typically valued for contents at around US$30,000 but a ship trading from the Far East to Europe carrying high-value commodities could easily lift the value to US$150,000 or more each. This would make an overall cargo value in excess of US$300M realistic. Will this make the ultimate loss bigger than the 2002 M/VHanjin Pennsylvania equivalent? Fortunately 2,249 containers appear to be out of the equation. Exports mainly on a CIF basis.

On April 22 there was executed discharge of over 2,249 containers from M/V Hyundai Fortune, not including relocation moves of containers. M/V Hyundai Fortunewas moved out of port Apr 19. At Salalah anchorage the convoy was prepared for onwards towing to a next destination; a more safe location considering the oncoming SW-monsoon which might interfere with further handling of M/V Hyundai Fortune in its present condition. The convoy departed Salalah anchorage at approximately 0945, this morning, heading out of Omani territorial waters where after the convoy will head further in a north-easterly to east-north-easterly direction. The convoy consists of the main towing tug and a standby fire fighting tug while a SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage tow master and a salvage team remain in control over the situation. Salvage and fire fighting equipment remains on standby on board of both the casualty and the two tug.

May 2 - Cleaning Up The Mess & Delivering The Cargo

On April 22 there was executed discharge of over 2,249 containers from M/V Hyundai Fortune, not including relocation moves of containers. M/V Hyundai Fortunew as moved out of port Apr 19. At Salalah anchorage the convoy was prepared for onwards towing to a next destination; a more safe location considering the oncoming SW-monsoon which might interfere with further handling of M/V Hyundai Fortune in its present condition. The convoy departed Salalah anchorage at approximately 0945, April 22, heading out of Omani territorial waters where after the convoy will head further in a north-easterly to east-north-easterly direction. The convoy consists of the main towing tug and a standby fire fighting tug while a SvitzerWijsmuller Salvage tow master and a salvage team remain in control over the situation. Salvage & fire fighting equipment remains on standby on board of both the casualty and the two tug.

Some of the undamaged containers from M/V Hyundai Fortune are now on their way to Europe. Two vessels operated by the New World Alliance have called in Salalah, to pick up cargo that was bound for Europe at the time of the accident. A 3rd vessel will load later this week and a 4th ship will collect the remainder of the intact containers just after the weekend, Hyundai Merchant Marine said. The line is unable to say at this stage how many of the containers escaped the inferno that burned out much of the stern section of M/V Hyundai Fortune, but a large majority of boxes are being repatriated to Europe. The line is unable to say at this stage how many of the containers escaped the inferno that burned out much of the stern section of the vessel, but a large majority of boxes are being repatriated to Europe.

May 16 - M/V Hyundai Fortune Out of Luck?

Fire damaged container M/V Hyundai Fortune said put up for sale in an "as is" condition indicating that the owners & underwriters are reluctant to undertake the major repairs required. The Salvage Association is inviting bids for the 5,550-TEU M/V Hyundai Fortune (built 1996) which was badly damaged by a fire that also caused major cargo loss. The vessel was insured for US$70M by Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance of South Korea, but most of the risk was broked into the London market by Marsh, with the cover led by the XL Group. The sale suggests the underwriters regard M/V Hyundai Fortune as a constructive total loss (CTL) but are trying to recover more than they would receive if the vessel was sold for demolition. Underwriters are also facing huge cargo claims as the vessel was trading from the Far East to Europe and would have been carrying high value products such as digital cameras, MP3 players, cellphones and LCD screens that could put a value of US$100,000 per box on the damage. Hyundai Merchant Marine is currently anchored off Khor Fakkan, Sharjah, with potential buyers expected to inspect the vessel and take delivery there.

M/V Hyundai Fortune fire was extinguished by SvitzerWijsmuller under a Lloyd's open form 2000 salvage contract with the vessel towed to port for discharge of undamaged containers and then to its current anchorage. The move to offer M/V Hyundai Fortune for sale suggests that a massive repair may be economically viable even if the vessel is a construvtive total loss (CTL). The 4,400-TEU M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania (built 2002) was acquired by the Ofer group after Reederei F Laiesz and lead underwriter Allianz agreed the ship was a CTL. The owners & underwriters estimated that the vessel which was only eight months old at the time of a devastating fire needed US$40m of repairs against an insured hull value of only US$45M. Zodiac Maritime, a London based arm of the Ofer Group bought the M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania wreck for about US$4M &spent US$20M on repairs at China's Chengxi Shipyard replacing 2,700 tons of steel, effectively ending up with a half price new vessel, M/V Norasia Bellatrix. From our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen. (Mon. May 15 2006)

Expect further word -- McD

"Ship Happens! ©" 

M/V Hyundai Fortune at Southhampton in 2002.

The baby strollers. DVDs, tractor parts, furniture & chemical solvent abaord M/V Hyundai Fortune were then quite safe.

Editors Note: We expect additional photos after April 21.


Readers Note: This Feature Has Now Moved Forward To 3 Pages:

Page 1 M/V Hyundai Fortune - Initial Reports (Above)

Page 2 M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 23 To Present - With Daily Commentary (above) Tomorrow --Was The Cause Sinister?

Page 3 Dramatic Photos of The M/V Hyundai Fortune Aftermath - Nothing like this since 1945 in the Pacific

Links & Features

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss. Please Contribute.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  Please Contribute

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