Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Container Shipping Groups Rationalise Freight Links

Indian Subcontinent to Northern Europe Routes Adjusted
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – BANGLADESH – SRI LANKA – EUROPE - The rationalisation of regional shipping line Safmarine, and its closer amalgamation with mother company Maersk which we wrote of last month, proceeds, with the changes being made to the company’s Prime 2 service, connecting the South and East of the Indian Subcontinent with North Europe and currently operated together with Maersk’s parallel Icon service. As from February 2012 the ocean freight container route will be amalgamated into the A.P Moller-Maersk Group’s Asia–Europe network. Kris Van Den Brande, Safmarine’s Trade Director, explained:

“The restructuring decision (in line with the Group’s rationalization and optimisation plans) affecting the trade between the Far East and the Indian Subcontinent to Northern Europe will result in improved port coverage and reliability out of South India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Our customers in the Indian Subcontinent will benefit from improved transit times on the AE7 service’s new direct call in Colombo, while Safmarine’s Northern Europe export customers to the Indian Subcontinent will be covered by a direct call in Colombo (on the AE6 service). These changes aim to help establish a more balanced supply/demand scenario within the Far East to North Europe trade.”

Safmarine claim that the transit time between Colombo and North Europe will improve by two to three days and improvements to dedicated feeder links will include a dedicated feeder link between Chittagong (Bangladesh) and Tanjung Pelepas giving access to the Group’s Far East-Europe network and daily departures to the main Northern Europe (NWC) hubs and in South India, whilst the weekly Chennai feeder via Colombo will help to restore the service and transit time reliability.