After several months at regular speed, the ocean carrier Maersk Line has once again added an additional vessel to its weekly MESA service between the Middle East and South Africa, increasing roundtrip voyage time from 42 days to 49 days.
reported April 12
that the loop had resumed a six-week roundtrip voyage time after a two-month slowdown (reported by American Shipper Feb 22
) and added new calls at the Indian Ocean ports of Reunion Island, Port Louis, and Toamasina, as well as the carrier’s major Middle East hub at Salalah and Port Elizabeth in South Africa. As reported at that time, Maersk simultaneously increased average capacity on the MESA from 2,235 TEUs to 3,485 TEUs, an increase of nearly 56 percent.
Transit times northbound from South Africa to the Middle East on the service have been increased by a about seven days, now taking 19 days from Port Elizabeth, South Africa to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The rotation of MESA remains Dubai, Salalah, Reunion Island, Port Louis, Toamasina, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Port Louis, and Dubai. The service is currently operated with seven Maersk vessels with an average capacity of 3,512 TEUs. Subsidiary Safmarine continues to purchase slots.
Maersk and Safmarine operate four other services that connect the Middle East directly with the African continent, but only the MESA calls South Africa and, since the termination of the carrier’s Indian Ocean service (reported by American Shipper April 23
), the MESA is also the carrier’s only direct weekly connection between the Salalah hub and the Indian Ocean ports of Reunion Island, Port Louis, and Toamasina. - ComPair Data
, Ben Meyer