Maersk Line is to implement its annual ‘winter pattern’ in the trade from Central America and Mexico to Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea.
As part of the seasonal changes, the Danish carrier will drop the Baltic leg of its ‘CRX’ loop in mid-October.
The service will therefore lose its present calls at St Petersburg and Kotka and its rotation will be shortened from eight weeks to six.
With the exception of the closed Russia and Finland extension, the service’s port coverage will remain unaltered: Tilbury, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Vera Cruz, Altamira, Big Creek, Manzanillo (Panama), Moin, Cork, Tilbury.
St Petersburg and Kotka will remain covered directly with Maersk’s second fruit-oriented service between Central America and the Baltic: The ‘Ecubex’.
While both the ‘CRX’ and ‘Ecubex’ deploy high-reefer full container ships of about 2,500 teu, Maersk Line only has six such units with ice class at its disposal. Since ice-strengthened ships are required to serve the northern Baltic in winter, only one of the loops can maintain a year-round St Petersburg link.
Hence, Maersk Line now rounds up the sextet and concentrates all sisters on the ‘Ecubex’ in time for the icing season. A number of vessels will thus swap places in the coming weeks.
Direct ‘CRX’ port pairs between Central America, Russia and Finland will be maintained via transhipment at Bremerhaven’s NTB Terminal, using either the ‘Ecubex’ or space on common feeders.
The present ‘CRX’ and ‘Ecubex’ summer pattern had been established in May and the upcoming winter pattern is expected to last until second quarter of 2014.