Explosion at the international logistics centre, Tianjin Port

Following the widely publicised explosions in the port of Tianjin, northern China late on Wednesday 12th August, the port remains partially open. Authorities have imposed stringent checks and there are disruptions to port operations and vessel movements. At present, the situation is still on-going and the Club is monitoring developments. 

What happened?
The explosion happened in the dangerous cargo warehouse of Ruihai International Logistics company, located in the international logistics centre of Tianjin port, around 3 miles away from the nearest terminal.

A fire was seen at the container warehouse at around 22:50hrs local time on Wednesday 12th August, and shortly after caused the first explosion of the whole warehouse, which then caused the second explosion. The China Earthquake Networks Centre have said the initial explosion had a power equivalent to three tonnes of TNT detonating, while the second was the equivalent of 21 tonnes.

The second explosion in the area covered several nearby DGC container warehouses and a logistics park containing several thousand cars was incinerated by the blast, which rippled out several kilometres from the port into residential areas.

Serious property damages and personal losses have been reported. Currently the fire is still not fully extinguished. 

What is the impact on ports and Members?
Tianjin is a significant industrial port, and is a gateway for goods going in and out of the capital and the industrial north of the country. It is also a main trading hub for metals and steel.

There remains some uncertainty concerning the movement of ships in port. The initial suspension of all movements of ships and port activities has been lifted. However, movements of tankers and oil supply ships are still forbidden at all terminals. North Port Terminal, the major container terminal in Tanggu,  is currently only allowing ship departures and are not accepting ships to enter.

According to port authorities, port loading and discharging activities are unaffected at most terminals, with the exception of Huisheng Terminal and TJ Port Pacific Int'l CT Co.. These terminals are closer to the site of the explosion and suffered relatively serious damage. The traffic around these two terminals is seriously affected and the air is polluted by smoke and dust caused by the explosion.

Several Members have notified us of cargoes being located in the affected area although the extent of involvement of the Club's Members remains under assessment.

According to Tianjin MSA, no serious damage to ships at ports has been reported. Nevertheless, some ships at the terminals close to the explosion site such as Huisheng Terminal may have suffered some minor damage.

For more information

The situation is subject to change and there is limited information available at present. Members are advised to inform their ships calling at Tianjin port of the situation and should contact the local port authority, or one of the Club's correspondents in Tianjin: https://www.epandi.com/ukpandi/locnab.nsf/Search?OpenForm

Members requiring more information should contact their usual Club contact.

Staff Author