a significant development, ocean carrier Mediterranean Shipping Co. has announced on its German Website
it is joining Maersk Line's ECUMED loop between ports in Ecuador, Panama and the Black Sea.
This alliance between the world's top two container giants further extends their slot exchange partnerships in the Asia-east coast of South America and Mediterranean-ECSA trades, also North America to Oceania, and a three-loop vessel-sharing arrangement in the transpacific. The two also have joint services on the Asia-Oceania and North America-South Africa routes.
Maersk's ECUMED is currently operated with nine 2,968-TEU ships with a rotation of Guayaquil, Balboa, Manzanillo (Panama), Algeciras, Izmit, Istanbul (Ambarli), Novorossiysk, Odessa, Istanbul (Ambarli), Izmit, Algeciras, Manzanillo, Balboa, and Guayaquil. MSC did not mention any calls at Algeciras.
The arrangement starts from Ecuador in week 22 and from the Black Sea in week 27.
Maersk Line has only very recently slowed down its ECUMED loop, adding a ninth vessel and extending the round voyage time from 56 to 63 days It now slow-steams between Algeciras and Manzanillo westbound. The service, in which Maersk's Safmarine subsidiary participates, had also dropped a westbound call at Malaga.
, Francis Phillips