The French Line CMA CGM this week announced the re-organisation of its East Africa coverage and the merger of its two relay services, operated in partnership with Emirates Shipping Line (ESL), into a single fixed-day weekly loop. Effective mid-June CMA CGM and ESL will merge their ‘Kenya Express’ into their ‘Tanzania Express’.
The revised ‘Tanzania Express’ is to be re-branded ‘Swahili Express’ or ‘SWAX2’ by CMA CGM and ‘GIA’ by Emirates. The ‘new’ ‘Swahili’ will connect the UAE ports of Jebel Ali and Khor Fakkan to Mombasa, Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar. It will turn in 35 days with a fleet of five ships in the size range of 1,854 teu to 2,800 teu. The French Line will provide three of the vessels, whereas ESL is to bring in the remaining two units. Hyundai Merchant Marine will slot on the new service in continuation of its present participation. In summary, the changes look as follows:
To be halted: Tanzania Express – 30 day round trip, every 10 days: Jebel Ali, Khor Fakkan, Dar Es Salaam, Jebel Ali.
To be modified: ‘Kenya’ / ‘Swahili’ Express – 35 day round trip, weekly: Jebel Ali, Khor Fakkan, Mombasa, Dar Es Salaam (added), Zanzibar, (Subcontinent call at Hazira until recent removal), Jebel Ali. ESL becomes operator and capacity increases slightly from 2,285 teu/week to 2,327 teu/week.
CMA CGM said the changes were driven by customer demand and the need to serve Dar es Salaam on a weekly basis, while ESL declined to comment.