The ocean carrier Maersk Line, along with subsidiary Safmarine, has begun the process of raising capacity on its weekly Europe-east coast of South America Samba loop by increasing the size of the vessels.
The carrier will replace five of the seven vessels currently deployed on the Samba, increasing average ship capacity on the service from 3,913 TEUs to 6,558 TEUs, an increase of nearly 68 percent, once complete.
This move comes just a few weeks after Maersk announced it would terminate its direct Europe-west coast of South America Andean 1 service (reported by American Shipper May 7
). Maersk announced in February
it would “gradually introduce the [larger] Sammax vessels” into the Samba service, but the changes did not actually begin for another two months after the advisory.
COSCO and Hanjin, which joined the Samba to replace the terminated joint COSCO, Hanjin, United Arab Shipping Co. and CCNI North Europe-ECSA service ESE/SAM 1, continue to purchase slots on the service, as does Mediterranean Shipping Co.
The port rotation of the Samba remains Tilbury, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Algeciras, Santos, Paranagua, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Itapoa, Santos, Algeciras, and Tilbury. Maersk provides six ships and Safmarine one. The fact that the enlarged Samba calls at Maersk's regional mega-hub at Algeciras both northbound and southbound probably allows Maersk to re-route its Andean 1 cargo from WCSA to North Europe via its ECUMED loop which also calls at Algeciras between WCSA and the Black Sea.
Apart from Samba, Maersk does not operate any other services with direct connections between North Europe and South America's east coast. The carrier does, however, offer the 11-ship average 4,366-TEUs Middle East-Mediterranean-ECSA Rumba service, on which UASC purchases slots, and Maersk also takes slots, along with CMA CGM, CSAV, Libra Montemar, Hapag-Lloyd, and Safmarine, on MSC’s seven-ship average 5,703-TEUs Europe/ECSA1 service. - ComPair Data
, Ben Meyer and Francis Phillips