Hamburg-Süd rethink SAF – ECSA, CMA CGM reorganise ECSA – WAF services: Cards reshuffling in the South Atlantic

With three new multi-participant Far East – ECSA services about to materialise, and the replacement of their predecessor services imminent, carriers have to reconsider their options for the transport of cargoes between South Africa and South America.

Out of the three new loops, only two will call at South Africa and both these calls will be made in the eastbound direction. This means that the revised set-up does not offer any westbound South Africa stops at all. In other words: The new Far East to South America loops via the Cape of Good Hope are not at all suited to carry cargoes between Africa and South America.

This is not without implications for the participants in the current services, such as the loop jointly operated by Maersk Line, CMA CGM, CSAV, CSCL and Hamburg Süd. This service featured underway calls in South Africa on both its eastbound (Port Elizabeth and Durban) and westbound (Durban) legs. Unlike its successor, the loop could thus be used to carry containers between Africa and South America and vice versa.

Hence, to the present connections, various service adjustments are being made these days and further changes are expected to materialise over the coming weeks:


NileDucth’s ECSA – WAF service: a unique offer

Hamburg-Süd today announced a new cooperation with NileDutch to carry its cargoes between South Africa, Argentina and Brasil. The new offer, branded as ‘SABR’, will serve the following ports:  Durban, Port Elizabeth, Buenos Aires, Rio Grande, Itajai, Santos, Rio de Janeiro.

The new ‘SABR’ is in fact a combination of two existing NileDutch services and will involve transhipment at Luanda, where NileDutch’s Far East – West Africa and West Africa – ECSA services connect. The new ‘SABR’ will start with the 2,460 teu BUXFAVOURITE.

NileDutch’s West Africa – ECSA loop is a unique fortnighly service between West Africa, Argentina and Brasil. In a recent statement NileDutch confirmed the continuation of the service, which was so far run in cooperation with the CMA CGM Group. The French Line and its affiliate Delmas however recently announced their withdrawal as a vessel providers.

CMA CGM and Delmas have also been seeking a new arrangement for its ECSA – West Africa cargo. Subsequently, Delmas’ ‘SAMWAF’ is being revised and the revision will add a new transhipment call at Durban. Cargo from the ECSA is to be carried to Durban by one of the new Far East – ECSA services, where it can be transhipped to WAF ports.

For this purpose, the French will used the loop jointly operated by CMA CGM, CSCL and Hamburg-Süd. The new service pattern will kick off with the departure of the 8,530 teu XIN DA YANG ZHOU from Buenos Aires on 10 August.

From Durban, cargo to West Africa will then be relayed to one of two CMA CGM services:  These are the Far East to West Africa loop ASAF, which already features a Durban call since February, or CMA CGM’s Midlde East to West Africa service ‘MIDAS’, to which a Durban call will be added in July.


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