The ocean carrier Maersk Line has added two extra vessels to its weekly Safari 1 service between Asia and South Africa, increasing roundtrip voyage time on the loop from 56 days to 70 days.
Transit times westbound from China and Maersk’s mega-regional hub in Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, to South Africa on the Safari 1 remain roughly the same, but eastbound transit times from South Africa have increased by about seven days to Singapore and 14 days to China as vessels will now slow steam one extra week between Port Louis, Mauritius, and Singapore, as well as an additional week between Singapore and Shanghai, China, on the return leg. The service will also skip one scheduled sailing position commencing Shanghai on Feb. 13.
French carrier CMA CGM, previously a slot-buyer on the Safari 1, joins the loop as a vessel operator with the Dec. 25 sailing of the CMA CGM Carmen
from Shanghai and will eventually provide two of the 10 average 7,826-TEU vessels operating on the service. Maersk subsidiary Safmarine continues to purchase slots on the service.
The rotation of the Safari 1 remains Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Louis, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Port Louis, Singapore, Nansha, and Shanghai.
The slow-down is noticeably weighted in favor of Asian exports and against those of South Africa. Eastbound between Port Louis and Singapore, the transit time is now a super-slow 18 days compared to a Tanjung Pelepas-Port Louis transit of only eight days. Between Durban and Shanghai, the transit is now 42 days compared to 23 days westbound. - BlueWater Reporting
, Ben Meyer