Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All Change As Eight Major Freight Lines Revise Container Shipping Worldwide

Hard Times Ahead Spurs Consolidation of Services
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Following the closer ties they announced earlier this month, MSC and CMA CGM, the second and third largest container shipping lines in the world respectively, have announced the launch of a revised Black Pearl service, which they claim is a better and faster direct service between the East Coast of North America and the West Coast of South America (Panama, Peru and Chile). This new service is part of their new operational agreement and it comes as a response to a growing market demand for refrigerated cargoes from Chile and Peru to Philadelphia and New York and for fast and competitive transit times between the two continents.

Effective from mid January (southbound) on a weekly basis, this service will provide customers with a direct fixed-day weekly service connecting East Coast North America to West Coast South America throughout 6 Main US Ports (Port Everglades, Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, Philadelphia and New York), one connecting Hub in Balboa and 4 Main Ports in West Coast South America (Callao, Arica, Valparaiso and Coronel).

The new Black Pearl service will deploy an homogeneous fleet of 7 x 4,000 TEU vessels operated by MSC and there will now be a direct service linking Chile and Peru to Philadelphia & New York to better serve the North American refrigerated cargoes demand with full intermodal coverage to USA Inland Ramps using on-dock rail services. Rotation for the new service will be:

Philadelphia – New York – Charleston – Savannah – Jacksonville – Freeport - Port Everglades – Cristobal – Balboa – Callao – Arica – Coronel – Valparaiso – Balboa – Cristobal – Freeport – Philadelphia – New York.

Jean-Yves Duval, Vice President Caribbean and South America Lines, CMA CGM Group said that the company’s dedicated office network would meet all customer expectations and concluded:

“Thanks to these new slot charter agreement with MSC between the East Coast of America and the West Coast of South America, CMA CGM will provide its customers with fast and competitive transit times along with a better service for refrigerated cargoes.”

The announcement comes on the same day in which MSC announced more General Rate Increases from the Far East to Columbia, plus to Central America and the Caribbean, the second time the tariff on this route has been raised this month and bringing the total of such increases to ten in just over the past month.

For their part CMA CGM are seen to be paring down and refining their services in a further attempt to streamline costs. Since making the agreement with MSC the company has entered into partnership with OOCL on its ANZEX service deployed on the New Zealand to Far East Trade as from the end of this month running five of its own 1,800 TEU vessels plus one of OOCL’s with a variable rotation thus:

Hong Kong – Chiwan – Ningbo – Shanghai – Pusan – Suva (Alternative A) – Noumea (Alternative B) – Auckland – Port Chalmers– Lyttelton – Tauranga – Noumea – Hong Kong.

ANZEX will discontinue calling Port Kelang Northbound hence shortening transit time between New Zealand and China by 7 days. Other Asian destinations will be relayed via the Hong Kong and Chiwan hubs whilst on the Southbound loop, the service will make alternative calls in Nouméa (New Caledonia) and Suva (Fiji).

Meanwhile for their part OOCL have announced a tie up with five other leading container shipping lines to create one of the largest vessel networks in the Far East-to-Europe trade lane. The comprehensive agreement will bring together members of The New World and Grand alliances to create The G6 Alliance. New World Alliance members are APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and Mitsui O.S.K Lines. The Grand Alliance members are Hapag-Lloyd AG, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.

The new partnership will create one of the leading networks in the Far East-to-Europe and Far East-to-Mediterranean container shipping markets with more than 90 ships in nine services calling at more than 40 ports in Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean. In a joint statement by the six box carriers they said:

“This is a milestone agreement that significantly improves service coverage in the Asia-Europe market. We will offer sailing frequencies and direct coverage that compete with anyone in the market. The extensive port coverage, frequent sailings and very attractive transit times make the nine services a unique product with the best and most comprehensive set of connections on offer for all shippers in the Far East-Europe/Mediterranean trade.”

The new alliance is scheduled to begin operation by April 2012 with seven joint services operating between Asia and Europe and two services to the Mediterranean. It includes a direct Far East-Baltic service with calls at Gdansk, Poland and Gothenburg, Sweden as well as transhipment in Singapore.

Member carriers said the new alliance will be characterized by fast transit times, broad port coverage and the latest vessels, with capacities of up to 14,000 TEU. The new alliance will enable the most efficient integration of the largest ship sizes that will be introduced over the next 30 months.

The nine joint services will offer more frequent departures with daily sailings from the major Asian, European and Mediterranean ports. The schedule will include multiple weekly calls at Singapore, South China, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Hong Kong Shanghai and Southampton. The ports of call also include Le Havre, Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Thamesport, the Bohai Bay ports of Dalian and Xingang, Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Cai Mep, Japanese ports, Colombo, Jeddah, and Port Said. The base-plan port rotation of the nine loops is as follows (plans are subject to change based on changing market conditions):

Loop 1 Japan – Hong Kong - Cai Mep – Singapore - Jeddah– Rotterdam – Hamburg – Southampton – Le Havre – Singapore – Hong Kong – Japan

Loop 2 Dalian – Xingang – Pusan – Qingdao – Singapore – Hamburg – Antwerp – Southampton – Salalah – Jebel Ali – Singapore – Pusan – Dalian

Loop 3 Shanghai – Ningbo – South China – Singapore – Tangier – Rotterdam – Bremerhaven – Gdansk – Gothenburg – Rotterdam – Jeddah – Singapore – South China – Hong Kong – Shanghai

Loop 4 Shanghai – Ningbo – South China – Singapore – Southampton – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Singapore –South China – Shanghai

Loop 5 Kwangyang – Pusan – Shanghai – South China – Singapore – Le Havre – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Thamesport – Singapore – Kwangyang

Loop 6 Kaohsiung – Xiamen – South China – Hong Kong – Singapore – Colombo – Southampton – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Singapore – South China – Kaohsiung

Loop 7 Qingdao – Shanghai – Ningbo – Hong Kong – South China – Singapore – Salalah – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Southampton – Tangier – Port Said – Singapore – South China – Qingdao

Loop 8 Pusan – Shanghai – Ningbo – South China – Hong Kong – Singapore – Port Klang – Jeddah – Damietta – Genoa – FOS Sur Mer – Barcelona – Valencia – Damietta – Jeddah – Singapore – Hong Kong

Loop 9 (Asia / Black Sea) To be determined

Our picture shows the port rotation for the new Black Pearl service.