Thursday, January 28, 2016

Largest Container Freight Carrier Opts to Divert Service to London Gateway

Maersk Vessels Calling More Often at Thames Port in Future
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AMERICA – UK – EUROPE – Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping line in terms of capacity, has switched the UK call of its Samba service from Tilbury to DP World’s neighbouring London Gateway Port. The first call on the service will be made by the Maersk Lanco on Monday, March 21, and meantime the unscheduled call of one of the world’s biggest box ships gives another boost to the growing deep water freight facility. Brian Godsafe, Managing Director, Maersk Line UK and Ireland, said:

“We work with the ports that are able to support us in offering reliable services to our customers. We enjoy a good relationship with the team at DP World London Gateway Port and have been pleased and impressed with recent service levels. We are certain that the move will be of benefit to our customers using the Samba service in and out of South America.”

The rotation of the service includes calls at Santos (Brazil), Paranagua, Itajal, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay), Rio Grande (Brazil), Santos, Pecem, Algeciras (Spain), Rotterdam (Netherlands), DP World London Gateway Port (UK), Bremerhaven (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), Algeciras and Santos.

The opening of Berth Three at the port later this year will further enhance the service offering already available at the new Thames side facility which is located just 10 miles from the M25. Simon Moore, CEO, DP World London Gateway, said:

“It is very pleasing that Maersk Line’s alterations to its Samba service will now see it call at DP World London Gateway Port. Maersk Line’s South Africa Europe Container Service has been calling here since 2013 and there are very clear advantages available to Maersk’s customers by calling at the UK’s newest, most advanced deep-sea port. Among these is our unrivalled ability to handle fresh produce and food products.

“Consistently low truck turnaround times and outstanding inspection services, coupled with our market-centric location and access to world class road and rail infrastructure, means products are delivered to market faster and fresher.”

The service switch will doubtless be a blow to Forth Port’s owned Tilbury in a week when London Gateway will also benefit from the call of the Maersk Triple E giant Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller which will call there after diverting from its scheduled destination of Felixstowe. The Suffolk port is reportedly struggling to cope with an influx of container vessels coupled with the recent adverse weather.

The call of the 18,000+ box carrier means around 20 such ad hoc calls in the past two months for the DP World facility, two other Maersk ships in the past week having diverted from Felixstowe already, giving management there a chance to advertise the capabilities of a port which is expanding steadily and largely impervious to the vagaries of the inclement weather which often affects port performance around the world.