Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Container Shipping Services Adjust to Freight Market Conditions

Faster Transit for Exotic Produce whilst CMA CGM Sheds Subsidiary
Shipping News Feature

MOROCCO – EUROPE – With the need to ensure maximum returns in the light of increased fuel costs, excess available tonnage space and stagnant traffic levels the container shipping companies have had to adapt with slow steaming techniques and the reshuffling of routes and sailing schedules. Now, French box carrier CMA CGM has tailored a particular service to accommodate a specific seasonal export freight market.

Named the “Dunkrus Express”, the aim is to target the citrus fruit and fresh vegetable exporters of Morocco and sailings will commence in November. CMA CGM says this new service will complement a reconfiguration of the existing “Agadir Express” and a strengthening of the existing service between Agadir and Port Vendres and that the new weekly departures and customised door-to-door services will enable European customers receiving their goods rapidly and during the most suitable days of the week for fresh produce sales, essential to the perishables trade.

As from November 2012, services operated 100% by CMA CGM between Morocco and Europe for citrus fruit and vegetable exports in reefers will be as follows:

DUNKRUS Express - weekly service operated with 2 vessels of 1,000 TEU / 220 reefer plugs

Rotation: Casablanca (Sun) - Agadir (Tue) - Dunkirk (Sun)- Antwerp (Mon) - Casablanca (Sat)

Dunkirk transhipment to CMA CGM’s Baltic service for St Petersburg now means exports from Agadir will reach Dunkirk in 4 days and St. Petersburg in 10 ½ days. This was essential as the previous transhipment via Rotterdam took two weeks which was sufficient for citrus fruits but unacceptably long for the rapidly expanding Moroccan vegetable market.

The AGADIR Express weekly service operated by CMA CGM again with 2 vessels of 1,000 TEU / 220 reefer plugs will commence in mid October

Rotation: Casablanca (Tue) - Agadir (Thu) - Portsmouth (Mon) - Rotterdam (Wed) -Le Havre (Fri) - Casablanca (Tue)

The AGADIR – Port Vendres bi-weekly service (2nd call a week added) operated by CMA CGM with 2 vessels of 900 TEU / 220 reefer plugs again will start in early November 2012 with the following rotations:

1stdeparture: Agadir (Thu) - Port Vendres (Mon) - Agadir (Wed)

2nd departure: Agadir (Sat) - Port Vendres (Wed) - Agadir (Fri)

Peter Verheijen, CMA CGM Deputy Vice President North Africa Lines, commented:

“As one of the leaders in this very specific market, CMA CGM adapts its services to each campaign to best meet demand and support the development of agricultural exports from the Kingdom of Morocco. With these three services from Morocco to Europe, operated 100% by CMA CGM and in place for the 2012-2013 campaign, the Group is offering coverage and transit times to meet the most demanding of our customers’ requirements. These latest developments are also supporting a strong move in favour of containers, evident in this sector over the last four years, these volumes having been carried almost solely by refrigerated trucks in the past.”

In other company news the French group has completed the sale of cruise line La Compagnie du Ponant via its parent company Merit. CMA CGM acquired the liner firm inn2004 and has now divested itself of the asset to private equity group Bridgepoint including the transfer of the company’s three vessels and 580 employees.

Photo: The reason for the popularity of Morocco’s vast range of fresh produce is easy to see.