Maersk Line said it has launched ECUMED, a weekly liner service between Latin America and Spain, Turkey and the Black Sea.
"Investment in the new ECUMED service has been motivated by customers demand for reliable, fast and high quality refrigerated transportation of fruits, especially bananas, from Ecuador to the Mediterranean and Black Sea,' said Anders Koksbang, vice president of Maersk Line. 'Compared to other services in the market this will be a direct service without transshipment, ensuring high reliability for our customers and thus a higher safety and quality of the fruit to be delivered to the end consumer in Europe-Russia.'
Maersk said it will deploy eight ships with capacity of 2,500 TEUs in a rotation of Guayaquil, Balboa, Manzanillo, Algeciras, Izmit Korfezi, Ambarli, Novorosiysk, Odessa, Ambarli, Izmit Korfezi, Algeciras, Balboa and Guayaquil.
The first westbound call for the service is from Algeciras, Spain, on Sept. 25 with the Nedlloyd Juliana
and the first eastbound call for the service is from Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Oct. 4 with Maersk Nottingham.
Francis Phillips, lead analyst with American Shipper
affiliate ComPair Data
, said that in preparation for this new service, Maersk has been feeding volumes into its transshipment hub in Algeciras.
He noted Maersk's Andex service has been returning from the West Coast of South America to North Europe via Algeciras and that Seago, Maersk's intra-Europe sister line, has been running a West Med feeder from Algeciras to Ambarli (western Istanbul) and an East Med feeder from Ambarli to Poti in the eastern portion of the Black Sea.
"Seago also connects North Europe to Ambarli," Phillips said. "The new loop therefore provides Ecuador spokes to and from Maersk's twin hubs in Panama, a link between its two mega-regional centers in Panama and Algeciras, and a new spoke from Algeciras to a nascent hub in Ambarli and the Black Sea."