Two U.S.-Flagged Boxships Report COVID-19 Cases On Board

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[Brief] In a statement Monday, number-five ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd reported that it has confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 aboard the U.S.-flagged boxships Philadelphia Express and St. Louis Express.

“We regret to inform you that during normal operations of our Philadelphia Express and St. Louis Express, deployed in our Atlantic Loop 3 (AL3) service, one member of each vessel’s crew tested positive for COVID-19,” Hapag-Lloyd said in a statement. “The mariners are quarantined and we are hoping for a speedy recovery. All other crew members on the vessel are being isolated, monitored and will be tested as well.”

Hapag-Lloyd said that it is evaluating any potential impact on vessel and cargo operations, and the ships’ berthing dates for the next ports of the AL3 rotation will be adjusted accordingly.

As of Tuesday, Philadelphia Express was anchored off Norfolk and St. Louis Express was under way off Palm Beach, Florida, bound for Jacksonville.

The two 3,200 TEU geared container ships are sisters, and both are enrolled in the Maritime Administration’s Maritime Security Program (MSP) subsidy system. They are both managed by a Florida-based company. 

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