Cargo ship leaves Maldives without unloading 100 containers

City of Shanghai, a cargo ship owned by CMA CGM. (File Photo)

Cargo ship, City of Shanghai, has left Maldives without unloading 100 containers ordered by local businesses.


The ship had arrived in Maldives from its port of origin at Shanghai, China, after transiting in Malaysia, on December 25.

The ship waited outside the Male’ Commercial Harbor for nine days before leaving for Sri Lanka last Thursday without unloading the 100 containers.

City of Shanghai cargo ship belongs of CMA CGM. Its Maldivian agent is the Total Transport Solutions (TTS) Maldives.

CEO of TTS, Arosha Fernando, reports to ‘Sun’ the cargo ship was ordered to leave for its next destination by CMA CGM after it failed to unload the containers despite waiting nine days, in order to prevent any further disruptions to its schedule.

Managing Director of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL), Ali Shahid says the company is not to blame for the ship leaving for Sri Lanka without unloading the containers.

Shahid said the ship was given permission to unload the containers on Friday, but left for Sri Lanka one-day ahead without informing MPL of its reason.

“TTS did not inform MPL why [the ship left]. The Maldivian agent informed customers they were unable to wait due to a conflict in schedule. According to their system, [City of] Shanghai is a Sri Lankan vessel. Often times, the ship unloads to Colombo and transfers to Colombo via feeder. They said that as per usual they left for Colombo to connect to a feeder,” said Shahid.

When asked why the cargo ship left just one day ahead of the scheduled unloading, TTS said they had expected to be able to unload the containers within four days. And that delaying any further would inconvenience lining vessels.

It is not usual for an international cargo ship to be able to unload within four days.

Two other cargo ships from CMA CGM also arrived in Maldives along with the City of Shanghai. MPL says the two other ships are now unloading containers as per schedule.

“They would have been aware of the considerable que at the port when the ship arrived here. The port does not have the capacity to handle three cargo ships at once like that. The jetty currently has capacity of only one. The out anchorage has capacity for two,” said Shahid.


Failure to receive goods as per schedule is a huge loss to businesses. The business owners who had their stock on the City of Shanghai don’t know when they will receive their stock.

The cargo ship which left has stock of many local business owners.

One of the business owners, who had a 40-foot container of stock on board the City of Shanghai, reported to ‘Sun’ he has stock for the beginning of school year in the container. School year begins on January 13, after which the stock will be rendered useless.

“The ship was originally scheduled to arrive in Maldives on December 19. But the boat arrived on December 25. We bring in seasonal stock. Once the school season ends, the stock will not sell. The entire shipment will need to be warehoused and used again the year school season,” said the business owner.

He said payment of the stock for the next season – the Ramadan season – depends on the money made from the stock for the school season.

He said the delay, and the departure of the ship without unloading the shipments was a huge loss.

The business owner said he does not know the reason why the ship departed, or had been aware the ship departed until a few days after it happened.

When asked who will take the responsibility for the loss to the business owners, TTS said it does not know who. It said the company needed to pay a USD 25,000 fee to the shipping company for every day the ship stays at the port.

TTS said the containers on board the City of Shanghai will be transferred to another ship – which will leave for Maldives next Monday.