After two and a half months on a 10-week rotation, ocean carrier Maersk Line, along with vessel partner CMA CGM, has slowed its weekly FEW3 service between Asia and West Africa to skip one sailing position from Asia in February.
Roundtrip voyage time on the FEW3 has increased from 70 days to 77 days and transit times eastbound from West Africa to China by about seven days as vessels will now slow steam one extra week between Cape Town, South Africa, and Yantian. The service will skip one scheduled sailing position commencing Yantian on Feb. 20.
reported Oct. 30 that Maersk speeded up the FEW3 while simultaneously speeding up another of its Asia-West Africa services
, the FEW2, after a previous one and a half months of slow steaming on the two loops.
The FEW3 service currently operates with 11 vessels (seven from Maersk, one from Safmarine, two from CMA CGM, and one voided sailing), with an average weekly capacity of 3,971 TEUs, and the rotation remains Yantian, Nansha, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Cape Town, Pointe Noire, Tema, Cape Town, and Yantian.
The slow-down is noticeably weighted in favor of Asian exports and against those of West and South Africa. Eastbound between Pointe Noire, Congo, and Yantian, the transit time on the FEW3 is now a super-slow 36 days, whereas the transit time from Maersk’s mega-regional hub in Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, to Pointe Noire is only 24 days.
Maersk and French carrier CMA CGM now cooperate closely, with joint services in many trades, but the FEW3 remains the only cooperation in a direct service between Asia and West Africa. - BlueWater Reporting
, Ben Meyer