Category: network

Maersk extends Indonesian ‘IA4’ coverage

As of mid-November, the ‘IA4’ service of Maersk Line and MCC, the intra-Asia specialist of the APM Group, will offer extended coverage in Indonesia with a new call at Surabaya and a second call at Jakarta.

The 2,824 teu SFL FALCON will open the new rotation which reads :

Busan, Kwangyang, Vostochny, Busan, Kwangyang, Shanghai, Keelung, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Jakarta, Surabaya (new), Jakarta (new), Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), Kaohsiung, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan.

At the same time, the loop duration is extended from six to seven weeks and the SFL TIGER is added (as of 19 November) to the service in order to maintain the weekly frequency.


BG Freight suspends intra-Iberia service and slots on Unifeeder

BG Freight Line, a subsidiary of the UK’s Peel Ports Group, is to suspend its weekly intra-Iberia service, so far run with the 868 teu vessels BERIT and BOTTENVIK.

At the same time, the Rotterdam-based operator is to take slots allocations on the Spain-related services of Unifeeder. The Danish short sea and feeder line had recently opened a number of new services in the Western Med and along the southwest European Atlantic coast, centered on the Gibraltar Straits hub port of Algeciras.

BG Freight will offer following coverage:

  • Algeciras, Vigo, Bilbao, Algeciras
  • Algeciras, Lisbon, Leixoes, Algeciras

The BOTTENVIK has been chartered by Maersk Line Seago for the Levant – Black Sea ‘Citrus’ season.

Week 44 at a glance

P3 setup update: Europe – North America

Subject to regulatory approval, the proposed P3 alliance – Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM – plans to restructure the three carriers’ east-west mainline services. The new joint network will lead to a consolidation of strings and to an up-sizing of the vessel fleet.

The P3 alliance’s Transatlantic pattern will consist of five dedicated weekly services: Three North Europe loops and two Med slings.

Additionally, one Suez-routed Asia to USEC service which performs way calls at Algeciras (WB) and Tanger Med (EB) is expected to serve partially as a Med to USEC loop.

One further Suez-routed Asia to USEC features underway calls at Haifa (WB and EB), but can be omitted from the count of actual Transatlantic services as Haifa is not a major hub and volumes are expected to be limited.

It has to be noted that the P3 agreement does not cover all Transatlantic activities of Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM.

Offerings such as dedicated India and Middle East to USEC loops, Panama-routed Europe to ANZ services with USEC coverage, as well as Canada-related services, remain outside the scope of the P3.

In many cases, such services are offered in partnership with third parties outside the ‘big three’.

On the mainlines however, the P3 alliance’s Transatlantic network of five loops will succeed a pattern of seven loops.

Nevertheless, the alliance is expected to increase its Transatlantic capacity by some 15%, as the partner carriers will phase many large ships into the consolidated service structure.

In 2014, many of today’s 4,000 to 6.750 teu vessels trading between Europe and North America for P3 member lines, will be replaced or supplemented by 8,500 teu units.

Many such ships have become available since the Asia-Europe trunk routes are being boosted to capacities of 13,000 to 16,000 teu per week, with numerous newbuilt ultra-large vessels.

The P3 Europe / Med – North America setup looks as follows:

Northern Europe to USEC and US Gulf

North Atlantic / Liberty Bridge / TA1
Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, New York, Bremerhaven

South Atlantic / Victory Bridge / TA2
Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, Charleston, Freeport, Miami, Veracruz, Altamira, Miami, Savannah, Charleston, Antwerp

(MSC name) / Equality Bridge / TA3
Antwerp, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, New York, Charleston, Savannah, Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Freeport, Norfolk, Antwerp

Mediterranean to USEC and US Gulf

(MSC name) / Amerigo / TA5
Gioia Tauro, Naples, La Spezia, Genoa, Fos-sur-Mer, Valencia, Sines, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Valencia, Gioia Tauro

(MSC name) / Med-Gulf / TA6
Gioia Tauro, La Spezia, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Sines, Freeport, Port Everglades, Veracruz, Altamira, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Freeport (Bah.), Sines, Algeciras, Barcelona, Gioia Tauro

Atlantic / Vespucci / (tbd) (as part of an Asia – USEC service with waycalls at the Gibraltar Strait hubs of Algeciras and Tanger)
(From Asia via Suez…), Valencia, Algeciras, New York, Savannah, Charleston, Tanger Med, Marsaxlokk, (…to Asia via Suez).

Hanjin to halt Portland calls in 2014

South Korea’s Hanjin shipping will drop the call at Portland, Oregon, from its ‘PNH’ service in early 2014. The US West Coast port, located on the Columbia river, will therewith lose its one and only Transpacific container service.

Hanjin blamed rising handling charges and sagging longshore labor productivity for its decision. So far, the ‘PNH’ service handled an average of about 1,600 containers per week, Hanjin therewith accounts for 80 percent of Portland’s container business.

Apart from Westwood’s forest product service, which also accepts limited numbers of containers, Hapag-Lloyd’s and Hamburg Sud’s joint Panama Canal-routed Mediterranean – WCNA loop ‘MPS’ will remain the only container service left at Portland.

Hanjin’s decision is a major blow to the Manila-headquartered terminal operator ICTSI, which runs Portland’s container pier. The company is only a few years into a 25-year concession period and attracting new cargo or even new carriers to Portland is increasingly turning into an uphill task.

P3 setup update: Far East – North America

The P3 alliance’s Far East to North America network will consist of six Asia-WCNA loops and four Asia-USEC/US-Gulf loops.

Out of the former, five services will be aimed at the Pacific Southwest, meaning California, while one loop serves the Pacific Northwest, meaning Seattle and Vancouver.

The four Asia-USEC/US-Gulf loops comprise three Suez-routed loops and one service via the Panama Canal.

As far as the Asia-WCNA services are concerned, the P3 alliance’s six-loop pattern will very much resemble today’s service structure of Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM.

This is not particularly surprising since the three carriers already operate under a vessel sharing agreement on the transpacific tradelane since 2008.

One interesting aspect of the route setup is that MSC appears not to participate in the Pacific Northwest service. So far, MSC has only confirmed its participation in the Californian services, which cover the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland.

At least for the time being, the establishment of the joint P3 service structure will have little impact on the carriers’ overall capacity on this route.

Since the carriers all have long-standing ties or even shareholdings (through sister companies) in terminals on the US West Coast, the new P3 pattern might lead to some changes of terminals. This effect might also lead to some shifts between the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

One interesting aspect of the P3 service pattern is that five out of six weekly strings are operationally merged into butterfly or pendulum services. Only the ‘Sunrise / Sunrise / TP5’ is a pure single-sling Transpacific service. The five remaining loops are all operationally paired with other slings – either into pendulum or butterfly services.

The reasons for this can be numerous: They can include more flexible vessel deployment, regular calls at ports with lower bunker prices, optimization of sailing speeds, etc… In case of pendulums, increased direct port coverage is also an advantage.

The P3 Far East – North America setup looks as follows:

Asia to Pacific South West (California)

Pearl / PRX1 / TP6 (this service is operationally grafted into a pendulum with the Asia-Europe service Lion / FAL2 / AE2)
(Europe and Middle East….), Singapore, Vung Tau (aka Cai Mep), Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), Long Beach, Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian (Shenzhen), Chiwan (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, (…Europe and Middle East),

Eagle / PRX2 / TP1 (this service is operationally grafted into a pendulum with the Asia-Med service Phoenix / PHOEX / AE12)

(Mediterranean…), Tanjung Pelepas, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Yantian (Shenzhen), Xiamen, Long Beach, Oakland, Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Yantian (Shenzhen), Singapore, (…Mediterranean)

Jaguar / Yangtze / TP2 (this service is operationally grafted into a butterfly with the Asia-USWC service New Orient / Bohai / TP8)
…, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Ningbo, Long Beach, Dalian, Tianjin (aka Xingang), Qingdao, Shanghai,…)

New Orient / Bohai / TP8 (this service is operationally grafted into a butterfly with the Asia-USWC service Jaguar / Yangtze / TP2)
(…),Dalian, Tianjin (aka Xingang), Qingdao, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Oakland, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Ningbo, (…)

Sunrise / Sunrise / TP5
Busan, Hakata, Nagoya, Yokohama, Long Beach, Oakland, Dutch Harbor, Yokohama, Kobe, Busan, Qingdao, Kwangyang

Asia to Pacific North West (Seattle and Vancouver)

(no MSC name) / Columbus / TP9 (this service is operationally grafted into the Asia-Europe service Empire / Columbus / TP11)
(USEC via Suez…), Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), Shanghai, Busan, Seattle, Vancouver (Can), Yokohama, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), (…USEC via Suez)

Asia to USEC

Empire / Columbus / TP11 (this service is operationally grafted into the Asia-Europe service Empire / Columbus / TP9)
(PNW…) Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), Suez Canal (way point), New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Suez Canal (way point), Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), Shanghai, Busan, (…PNW).

America / (tbd) / TP12
Shanghai, Xiamen, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Yantian (Shenzhen), Singapore, Salalah, Suez Canal (way point), Haifa, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, Savannah, Freeport (Grand Bahama), Haifa, Suez Canal (way point), Salalah, Colombo, Singapore

Atlantic / Vespucci / (tbd)
Shanghai, Tanjung Pelepas, Suez Canal (way point), Valencia, Algeciras, New York, Savannah, Charleston, Tanger Med, Marsaxlokk, Suez Canal (way point), Kaohsiung, Ningbo, Shanghai

Everglades / PEX3 / (tbd)
Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Busan, Panama Canal (waypoint), Manzanillo (Pan), Miami, Houston, Mobile, Panama Canal (waypoint), Vostochny, Yantian (Shenzhen), Ningbo.

Note that some services to America, such as for example loops to the Canadian East Coast, appear to be excluded from the P3 partnership. Here, the carriers will maintain their individual service solutions – often in partnership with carriers outside the P3.


See earlier P3 updates:

Unifeeder gears up in the Mediterranean with new services centered at Algeciras

Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

The MAERSK TANGIER has been chartered by Unifeeder and will trade under TANGIER name / Credit: Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

Unifeeder, the Denmark-based common feeder and shortsea operator that recently acquired the Mediterranean feeder carrier United Feeder Services, keeps expanding its presence in Southern Europe.

In September, Unifeeder had announced the launch of an Algeciras – Italy service. The loop was opened with the backing of Maersk Line which shut one of its own services in the trade and which opted for slots on the new Unifeeder loop instead. The new Unifeeder service was scheduled to launch with the following rotation: Algeciras, Vado Ligure, Livorno, Naples, Salerno, Marsaxlokk, Algeciras.

It now turns out that Unifeeder will in fact operate this service as an Algeciras-based butterfly loop with an Italy wing and a Portugal wing. Therefore, a third ship has been deployed to maintain weekly sailings on what is now a 21-day rotation. The extended loop now incorporates the aforementioned Italy coverage as well as calls at Lisbon and Leixoes.

The Portugal – Algeciras – Italy butterfly looks as follows:

Algeciras, Vado Ligure, Livorno, Naples, Salerno, Marsaxlokk, Algeciras, Lisbon, Leixoes, Algeciras.

Further to this, Unifeeder has launched another Algeciras-based butterfly which covers ports in Spain and in France. This weekly service also turns in 21 days with a fleet of three vessels.

While both loops rotate in three weeks with three ships, they differ in one main aspect: The Portugal and Italy service has two longer wings, whereas the Spain and France loop is a three winged butterfly with three consecutive sub-slings of somewhat shorter duration.

The Algeciras-based Spain and France triple butterfly looks as follows:

Algeciras, Barcelona, Fos-sur-mer, Algeciras, Valencia, Algeciras, Vigo, Bilbao, Algeciras.

To staff these loops with vessels, Unifeeder has been quite active in the charter market and secured five ships of about 1,700 teu and one slightly smaller unit.