Maersk Line said Thursday it has permanently deleted a service between Asia and the Black Sea and will also suspend a service connecting Asia with Northern Europe and the Mediterranean until December.
Maersk said it will withdraw its AE5 loop, which it runs jointly with CMA CGM, from the Nov. 8 sailing. The service, run with eight 6,500-TEU vessels, has a rotation Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Nansha, Tanjung Pelepas, Jeddah, Port Said, Izmir, Istanbul, Port Said, and Xiamen.
The AE9 loop, which Maersk runs on a standalone basis, has a rotation of Xiamen, Shanghai, Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Tangier, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Zeebrugge, Valencia, and Xiamen.
“We do not expect volume growth on the Asia-Europe trades this year so there is currently no need for the number of ships sailing,” said Vincent Clerc, chief trade and marketing officer for Maersk Line. “We expect a 3 percent slump on the Asia-Europe container trades for 2012 and are taking steps to adjust to this without reducing our market position. Further to the 9 percent capacity reductions we made earlier this year, this brings the total capacity reduction in 2012 on Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe network to 21 percent.”
Maersk said the changes will not affect its Daily Maersk program, which guarantees delivery times on cargo moving from Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, and Tanjung Pelepas to Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, and Rotterdam.
The line said its existing AE3 Asia-Black Sea service will cover ports in Turkey and the Black Sea region, while it will add Port Said to the rotation of its AE20 Asia-Med service. Both services are jointly run with CMA CGM. - Eric Johnson