MSC and Maersk Line have increased the capacity of their joint service between the East Coast of North America and South Africa. More specifically, it was MSC, which replaced the ships it contributed to the loop with larger tonnage.
The loop was already ‘limping’ along with a rather unique mix of small and mid-sized ships, whereby Maersk tended to deploy ships notably smaller than the MSC units. Since MSC’s upgrade, the fleet imbalance has increased and the service now deploys a fleet of nine ships in the size range of 1,800 teu to 4,800 teu. The service”s average weekly capacity thus increased from 2,500 teu to in excess of 3,000 teu as per late June.
The weekly fixed-day loop employs nine vessels on the following 63-day rotation: Newark (New York), Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Freeport (Bahamas), Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town, Newark (New York) .
Presently, MSC and Maersk Line’s joint offering is the only direct full container service between the ECNA and South Africa.
In order to keep the service’s capacity on an even keel despite the vastly different sizes of vessels deployed, larger MSC ships and smaller Maersk units – with some exceptions – generally alternate every other week.