Thursday, August 25, 2011

Container Shipping Lines Adjust Freight Rotations

Central American and Europe - West African Services Revised
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Two of the world’s leading container shipping lines have made revisions to their freight routes this week and both tell us that customers will receive an enhanced service level as a result. There will be changes to the West Coast Central American service with Hamburg Süd joining with APL in a two loop service concept (WECA). Meanwhile Safmarine has reshuffled a number of its existing West Africa shipping services and introduced three new services - the WAF11, WAF12 and WAF13 – as part of its revised West Africa service portfolio.

The Central American two string concept will allow for a more comprehensive coverage connecting the growing market of West Coast Central America to the Hamburg Süd network. Likewise are additional possibilities opened through the connection of Paita, Guayaquil and Balboa. Despite the comparatively small size of the ships involved the routes are more than just a feeder link providing a trade artery for several neighbouring countries.

String 1 (WCX – WECA1) will deploy three vessels each of 1,300 TEU nominal capacity, one of them from Hamburg Süd, and has the following port rotation:

Balboa (Panama) – Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala)– Lazaro Cardenas(Mexico)– La Union (El Salvador)– Puerto Caldera (Chile)– Balboa – Paita (Peru) – Guayaquil (Ecuador)– Balboa.

String 2 (MCX – WECA2) will deploy one vessel of 1,100 TEU nominal capacity and has the following port rotation:

Lazaro Cardenas (Mexico) – Acajutla (El Salvador) - Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala) – Lazaro Cardenas (Mexico).

For their part Safmarine’s revised schedule, which is run in conjunction with other lines, emanates from Spain with several vessels, normally around 30,000 dead weight tonnes with around 2500 TEU capacity, all commencing at Algeciras. The rotations are:

WAF 11: Algeciras (Spain) - Port Tangier Mediterranee (Morocco) – Lome (Togo) – Onne (Nigeria)

WAF 12: Algeciras (Spain) - Port Tangier Mediterranee (Morocco) - Abidjan (Ivory Coast) – Cotonou (Benin)

WAF 13: Algeciras (Spain) - Port Tangier Mediterranee (Morocco) - Dakar (Senegal)

According to Safmarine the new services will not only serve the market between Europe and West Africa but also other markets through transhipment in Port Tangier or Algeciras, particularly Asia, the Americas, Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent with the overall network offering competitive and improved transit times to all key ports in West Africa. Dirk Geens, Safmarine’s Africa Trade Director commented:

“The changes have been made in the interests of providing our global customer base with improved transit times and reliability. Increasing the number of services overall has not only allowed us to reduce the number of port calls on some of the existing West African services, but it will also give us greater flexibility when it comes to handling volume overflows. For example, transit times from Algeciras to Onne have decreased from 21 to 14 days and from Algeciras to Cotonou from 20 to 12 days.”

Photo : The "Cala Pantera" is one of the 16 charter vessels belonging to Costa Container Lines (CCL) which Hamburg Süd took over on 1 December 2007 together with the Italian company’s liner services and which operates in the Central American region.