March 26th, 2011
Econintersect: China's Xinhua news agency has reported that elevated levels of radiation were detected on a ship arriving at Xiamen from Tokyo on Monday, 21 March 2011.
The ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines had radioactive contamination on the deck as well as on the outside surfaces of some of its containers, the bureau said, adding that the living quarters were "basically normal". Follow up:
This information was not reported until today. The New York Times also reported today that the first ship to reach the Port of Long Beach since Japan’s earthquake was boarded and scanned for radiation by Coast Guard and federal customs officials before being allowed to dock.
Econintersect has identified the ship as the MOL PRESENCE on voyage 026W which matches the timetable. This vessel was to call Laem Chabang today according to the schedule, but its current location is Yokohama.
The question is where was this ship contaminated? Was it in the port of Tokyo, or on its previous voyage between Oakland and Tokyo where it passed reportedly more than 80 miles from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Power Station on 16 /17 March 2011.
In any event, the radioactive contamination is likely worse than currently being admitted - and will slow Japanese exports as major shipping lines are beginning to avoid northern Japanese ports. This presents a much larger short term supply chain disruption of products to and from Japan until the situation is more clearly understood.