Sunday, September 21, 2014

Container Shipping Companies Announce New Freight Routings - For Now

Alliances Make Proposals for Services but Await Regulatory Confirmation
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – As part of the proposed 2M alliance between Maersk and the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the two largest container shipping companies in the world have released tentative details of an East-West network due to commence services next year if the Vessel Sharing Agreement is granted regulatory approval. CMA CGM, which had previously been part of the failed P3 Alliance with Maersk and MSC, has also released a provisional East-West service for its own newly announced partnership, the Ocean Three network, which will be in direct competition with 2M.

Operating a total capacity of 2.1 million TEU, the proponents say the 2M alliance will provide an increased number of port pairs, more direct ports of call and enhanced transit times. The routes that 2M will cover: Africa, Asia-Europe, Transatlantic, Central America, Europe-Middle East, Far East-Middle East, intra-Asia, intra-Europe, Oceania, South America, and Transpacific, will among many other things feature a new direct connection from Shanghai to the Black Sea, as well as a new direct service from France (Le Havre) and Sweden (Gothenburg) to ports in Japan.

Meanwhile the products offered in the Ocean Three network between CMA CGM, UASC, and CSCL will be designed by the French container line. Consistent coverage and capacity is offered on the Asia to North Europe market and CMA CGM will offer 6 loops including 4 services to be operated within the alliance namely FAL 1, 2, 3 and 8 alongside FAL 15 and 16. 42 vessels will be deployed on MEX1, MEX2, PHOEX and BEX lines which cover the Asia-Mediterranean route, and 52 ships on 7 weekly services will be deployed on the Asia-North America routes, PRX, TWX, YANGTZE, BOHAI, COLUMBUS PNW, COLUMBUS SUEZ, and PEX3. The alliance will represent 12.8% of total capacity deployed in the Asia-North America market.

Though the Ocean Three alliance still needs regulatory approval, having only been announced last week, the world’s third largest container shipping company, CMA CGM, has also revealed that it will upgrade its Amerigo service, from October 1, with the introduction of a new call in Miami, Florida, which will provide closer access to the city’s distribution centres and warehouses, and to Mexico.

CMA CGM’s new Amerigo service will start without interruption to the current service, leaving Livorno, Italy on October 2, on the West-bound, and New York on October 20 on the East-bound. The new route will be covered in 42 days and will now call at the following ports:

Malta, Livorno, Genoa (Italy), Fos-sur-mer (France), Barcelona (Spain), Valencia (Spain - WB), New York (US), Norfolk, Savannah, Miami, Tangiers (Morocco), Valencia (EB), Malta.

With the target to further enhance the quality of service and meet market requirements, the new service pattern offered by CMA CGM will include a fleet of 6 vessels operated exclusively by the French liner, and start a new offer of service to Mexico with the weekly connection with Victory Bridge service.

With so much uncertainty at the moment over which way the various regulatory authorities will vote on the legality of these new services it will be doubtless be some time before hard and fast schedules on the various loops can actually be relied on as regular routes.