The ocean carrier Maersk Line has slowed three loops by adding an extra ship to each.
Two of the loops, its ECUBEX and AC2 services, are connected to the line's mega-regional hub in Balboa and have also added port calls. The third, Maersk's joint average 4,472-TEU weekly SAECS loop between north Europe and South Africa, with partners MOL and DAL, has simply added an eighth ship and extended its its southbound transit by seven days. Maersk and subsidiary Safmarine now provide five SAECS vessels, MOL two and DAL one.
Meanwhile, in addition to adding an eighth vessel, Maersk has extended its weekly Europe-to-Central America and west coast of South America ECUBEX service by adding calls at Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg, as well as two calls at Santa Marta, Colombia, while dropping a call at Puerto Limon. Its revised rotation is St. Petersburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Santa Marta, Manzanillo PA, Balboa, Guayaquil, Balboa, Manzanillo (Panama), Santa Marta, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, and St. Petersburg.
This move probably reflects Maersk’s recent decision to terminate its direct Europe-west coast of South America Andean 1 service (reported by American Shipper May 7
), which previously connected Guayaquil and Balboa with Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hamburg, and Antwerp. ECUBEX’s new calls in North Europe, in addition to the increased capacity of Maersk’s Europe-east coast of South America Samba service (via Algeciras) (reported by American Shipper May 29
), should allow the carrier to re-route its Andean 1 cargo from WCSA to North Europe with limited disruption.
Roundtrip voyage time on ECUBEX has increased from 49 days to 56 days, and transit times in both directions have been increased by a few days, now taking 28 days from St Petersburg, Russia to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and 25 days on the return voyage.
The service is now operated with eight Maersk vessels with an average capacity of 2,580 TEUs.
Maersk had already slowed the loop from 42 days to 49 days roundtrip back in January, when the carrier initially added the call at Bremerhaven to ECUBEX (reported by American Shipper Jan 27
Aside from ECUBEX, Maersk does not operate any other services with direct connections between North Europe and the west coast of South America.
Maersk's other Balboa-based loop gaining an extra (ninth) ship, is its much larger average 8,417-TEU AC2 connecting Asia with Lazaro Cardenas and Balboa. This loop has added a new port call at Vostochniy, Russia. Although roundtrip voyage time on the AC2 has increased from 56 days to 63 days, transit times on the service remain roughly the same as vessels will now lay up in Balboa for one extra week. The revised rotation of the AC2 service is Vostochniy, Xiamen, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Lazaro Cardenas, Balboa, and Vostochniy.
In addition to the AC2, Maersk similarly calls at Balboa and Lazaro Cardenas to and from Asia on its AC3 loop, which also calls Vostochniy.
A third Maersk transpacific loop, its TP6/AE6, calls at Vostochniy en route from Los Angeles to its Southeast Asian hub in Tanjung Pelepas and then north Europe. - ComPair Data
, Ben Meyer