Operational Port Impacts of the 2023 Earthquake in Turkey

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Credit: Savunma İşleri via Twitter Social Media (https://twitter.com/savunmaisleri)

A devastating earthquake hit Southern Turkey and Syria on Monday February 6th, 2023.

In the 11 provinces (Adiyaman, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Malatya, Diyarbakir, Adana, Osmaniye, Kahramanmaras, Sanliurfa, and Elazig) which were affected by the earthquake, about 9.1 million people were impacted. According to the latest official information declared by AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Of Turkey) 40,642 people were killed and more than 108,000 were injured due to the earthquakes, while over 430,000 people from affected areas have been relocated to other provinces. Just after the Earthquake, a State of Emergency was announced in these provinces by the Turkish government.

Source: OCHA Situation Report No. 2

The Port of Iskenderun has been badly damaged by the earthquake.

During the earthquake, the Port of Iskenderun, one of the major ports in Southern Turkey, was seriously affected and damaged. Some parts of the port collapsed and a huge fire broke out at the container yard. So, all operations at this port were suspended. For the moment the port remains closed due to significant structural damages. Therefore, carriers are making alternative arrangements to offload containers destined for the port at alternative nearby ports, such as Mersin.

Source: General Directorate of Maritime Affairs | Official Twitter Account

Maersk has created contingency plans for the disruptions caused by this disaster. Below we outline all of the temporary contingency policies for our readers affected by the disaster.

One of the most well-known carriers, Maersk, has created contingency plans for cargo intended for the Port of Iskenderun. As the situation is changing frequently, Maersk has adapted the terms of its relief packages in line with customer needs. Here are the arrangements made by Maersk on February 13th:

Free Change of Destination (COD)

  • No Change of Destination (COD) service fee for containers on the water destined for the Port of Iskenderun, or containers gated-in full at the first loading port bound for Iskenderun to any other port in Turkey (TRMER, TRIZM, TRKOR, TRAMB).
  • This includes re-stowage, operational and admin fees. COD in this instance will be initiated by Maersk.
  • COD admin fees waived to destinations away from Turkey. Customers will, however, be liable for re-stowage and extra shifting costs, plus the ocean freight difference of the new destination. COD in this instance will be initiated by the customer moving away from Turkey.
  • Acceptance of COD requests are subject to capacity at the new destination and operational feasibility.

Booking Amendments/Cancellations

  • No cancellation fees on active bookings to and from Iskenderun or Mersin on SPOT.
  • Free of charge POL amendment to any other Turkish port for bookings from Iskenderun.
  • Free of charge vessel postponements on bookings from Mersin.
  • We shall waive penalty fees for shipments under Partnership Contract Product (block space, flexible), exported from Iskenderun or Mersin.

Demurrage and Detention (D&D)

  • Interim stop of the Import Combined D&D and Export D&D clock for containers in Iskenderun from February 6th, 2023 until February 28th, 2023, where the D&D responsibility lies with Maersk.
  • Interim stop of the Export Detention clock for containers in Mersin from February 6th, 2023, until February 20th, 2023.
  • Interim stop of the Import Combined D&D clock for containers in Syria from February 6th, 2023 until February 28th, 2023, where the D&D responsibility lies with Maersk.
  • For containers destined for the Port of Iskenderun, when COD will be performed to any other Turkish port: if the customer has special free time at the new destination, the same will be applied. If the customer has no special free time at new destination, 10 days free time will be applied as tariff.