Port Said (East) is to replace Damietta as the Southeast Med transhipment call on both the eastbound and westbound legs of the ‘EUM’ Far East – Med service, a loop jointly operated by OOCL (five ships), Hapag-Lloyd (two ships), MOL, Hyundai and NYK (one ship each). The service turns in ten weeks with ten vessles and it offers an average weekly capacity of 8,437 teu.
The Port Said calls will be handled by the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) at Port Said East. Compared to Damietta, the Port Said calls offer a smaller deviation from the route. On top of this, SCCT recently began dredging his very own approach channel, which will allow ships to enter and leave from and to the Mediterranean Sea without passing through the Suez Canal entrance. This means that ships which leave the terminal to sail on into the Med will no longer have to wait for the northbound Suez Canal convoy. Similarly, ships that want to sail to the terminal from the Med will no longer have to wait for the southbound convoy.
The OOCL TIANJIN will make the ‘EUM’s final Damietta calls on 22 July (westbound) and 7 August (eastbound). Hapag-Lloyd’s COLOMBO EXPRESS will make the inaugural calls at Port Said one week later. The ‘EUM’ move might have knock-on effects on intra-Med feeders that have yet to be determined.
With this replacement Damietta has lost its last remaining call from a dedicated Far East-Med service, as all other such loops have opted for Port Saïd as their Egyptian port of call.
Following the ‘EUM’s departure, only three inter-continental deep-sea loops remain at Damietta: CMA CGM’s and Hapag-Lloyd’s North Europe to Australia service ‘NEMO’, the G6 Alliance’s Suez-routed Far East to ECNA service AZX and the Subcontinent to ECNA service ‘Indamex’ of Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM, APL, OOCL and NYK.