Tagged: Algeciras

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).

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.

Maersk Line to modify two West Africa loops

Effective mid-November, two of Maersk Line’s Algeciras and Tanger based Med to West Africa slings will see changes to their respective port rotations.

  • ‘WAF1’: Tema and Libreville will be removed, with Onne and San Pedro to be added. The revised rotation stands as follows: Tanger Med, Algeciras, Abidjan, Pointe Noire, Onne, San Pedro, Tanger Med. The service will continue to offer weekly sailings with six vessels on a 42-day roundtrip.
  • ‘WAF3’: Onne, Takoradi and San Pedro will be removed, with Tema to be added. The revised rotation stands as follows: Tanger Med, Algeciras, Lagos (calls at Tincan and Apapa), Tema, Tanger Med. After the changes, the weekly service will turn in 35 days instead of 42, with its fleet accordingly cut by one ship.

The port of Tema thus moves from the ‘WAF1’ to the ‘WAF3’, while Onne and Sand Pedro move from the ‘WAF3’ to the ‘WAF1’. Libreville, which is cut from the ‘WAF1’ without being added to the ‘WAF3’ will lose one weekly frequency, but remains covered by Maersk’s ‘WAF2’.

An alternative coverage of Takoradi has not been announced so far. Other shipping lines without direct coverage of Takoradi, including Hapag-Lloyd and Zim, have started to serve the port via slots in the intra Ghana feeder of local operator AICS. This service was launched in April.

Maersk Line revises ‘Ecumed’

Maersk Line is to revise the rotation of its ‘Ecumed’ Black Sea to West Coast of South America service with the addition of westbound calls at Izmir and at the central Med hub of Marsaxlokk. The new westbound call at Malta will come in addition to the Ecumed’s present eastbound calls, whereas Izmir was not served by the ‘Ecumed’ so far.

The revised rotation reads as follows: Novorossiysk, Ambarli, Izmit, Izmir (new), Marsaxlokk (new), Algeciras, Caucedo, Manzanillo (Pan), Panama Canal (waypoint), Buenaventura, Guayaquil, Balboa, Panama Canal (waypoint), Manzanillo (Pan), Algeciras, Marsaxlokk, Izmit, Ambarli, Yuzhnyy, Novorossiysk.

The 3,078 MAERSK BOGOR has inaugurated the new rotation with last week’s northbound sailing from Buenaventura and the first call at the new port of Izmir is scheduled for 5 November.

Along with the addition of the two calls, the service rotation is extended from nine to ten weeks and a tenth ship, the 3,078 teu MAERSK BALI, will be redeployed to the ‘Ecumed’ in order to maintain weekly sailings.

Maersk to replace Algeciras – Italy – Malta link with slots on new Unifeeder/UFS loop

Ulf Kornfeld

Unifeeder has chartered the 1,732 teu GLUECKSBURG to serve on the new Intra med service / Credit: Ulf Kornfeld

Unifeeder, which this week announced the imminent takeover of the Mediterranean common feeder operator UFS, is to launch a new service from the Gibraltar Straits hub of Algeciras to ports in Italy and Malta.

The weekly loop will turn in 14 days with two ships and it will serve the following ports: Algeciras, Vado Ligure, Livorno, Naples, Salerno, Marsaxlokk, Algeciras.

Unifeeder has chartered the 1,732 teu GLUECKSBURG and the 1,716 teu SAMARIA for deployment on the new service. Given the recent takeover of UFS, it remains to be seen if the new offer is to be marketed under the house flag of Unifeeder or UFS.

The new service will mainly be supported by volumes from Maersk Line, which will close its own weekly service on the route and opt for slots on the new loop instead. The new Unifeeder/UFS offer is intended as a direct successor and will call the exact same ports as the present Maersk service.

Maersk presenty deploys the 1,732 teu EM SPETES and the 1,373 teu MAERSK TANGIER,  which are to phase out on the 4 and 11 of October, respectively. The Danish carrier is expected to return the former ship to Eurobulk / Pitteas at the end of a time charter and return the latter ship to Technomar at the end of a sale-and-charter back. At 23 years of age, the MAERSK TANGIER appears to be a candidate for recycling.