After two and a half months on a 10-week rotation, the ocean carrier Maersk Line has removed one of the two vessels added to its weekly Asia-to-South Africa Safari 1 service in December 2012.
Roundtrip voyage time on the service has decreased from 70 days to 63 days, and transit times eastbound from South Africa to China and Singapore have improved by about seven days. Vessels will no longer slow steam one extra week between Port Louis, Mauritius, and Singapore. The Safari 1 continues, however, to slow steam one extra week between Singapore and Shanghai, China, on the return leg, now taking 11 days from Port Louis to Singapore, but 24 days to Shanghai.
reported Dec 28, 2012, that Maersk added two extra vessels to the service
, increasing roundtrip voyage time on the loop from 56 days to 70 days, and that French carrier CMA CGM, previously a slot-buyer on the Safari 1, joined the loop as a vessel operator with the Dec. 25 sailing of the CMA CGM Carmen from Shanghai.
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 service is currently operated with nine vessels, six from Maersk, two from CMA CGM, and one previously voided sailing, with a reduced average weekly capacity at present of 6,948 TEUs. Maersk subsidiary Safmarine continues to purchase slots on the service.
Even with the increase in speed, transit times on the Safari 1 are still noticeably weighted in favor of Asian exports and against those of South Africa. Eastbound between Durban and Shanghai, the transit time is still a super slow 35 days compared to 23 days westbound - BlueWaterReporting
, Ben Meyer