The imminent departure of Evergeeen Marine from the ‘CES2’/’AEX2’, a Far East to Europe loop so far operated jointly by Evergeeen, CSCL and Zim, now appears to promt the closure of this Asia Europe mainline service.
Evergreen last month announced it would withdraw from the loop and modify its ‘CEM’ service, run in cooperation with Hanjin, somewhat to reflect is departure from the ‘CES2’/’AEX2’.
Since Evergreen presently provides five of the seven ships on the ‘CES2’/’AEX2’, the carrier’s decision to withdraw has forced the remaining operators to come up with an alternative plan. As part of the service’s fleet, Evergreen presently charters two 10,062 teu vessels, the ZIM ROTTERDAM and the TIANJIN, from Zim. The Taiwanese, who have plenty of brand new 9,200 teu L-class ships to come on stream, are expected to return the two chartered ships to Zim soon.
A closure of the ‘CES2’/’AEX2’ would thus leave Zim with a major headache, since the carrier would have to find a new home for the two 10,062 teu ships returned by Evergeeen, as well as for the two sister vessels that it currently contibutes to the loop itself.
So far, neither Zim nor CSCL have announced whether they plan to soldier on without Evergreen or not. According to the company’s schedules however, sailings on the joint loop come to an end as vessels gradually phase-out.
The ‘CES2’/’AEX2’ presently calls at: Hamburg, Antwerp, Suez Canal (way point), Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Klang, Suez (way point), Rotterdam, Hamburg.
With the suspension of this service, an average weekly capacity of 9,515 teu would retrieved from the North Europe – Far East lane, about 4% of the total trade’s total capacity.
Coscon, Hanjin and K-Line are slot partners of the service since it was established (i.e. reactivated after an earlier suspension) in May 2012.