Maersk – Seago has re-opened its seasonal Levant – Black Sea service, a loop which is – among others – aimed at citrus fruit and other agricultural products.
The loop which was suspended in late May re-opens today with a first sailing of the 1,155 teu ORKUN KALKAVAN from Mersin. After a single inaugural round voyage, the vessel is to be replaced by the MAERSK ARUN, who will sail alongside the 968 teu BOTTENVIK, so far employed by BG Freight.
The rotation reads as follows: Mersin, Ashdod, Novorossiysk, Mersin.
As announced at the beginning of August, a new Port Said to Black Sea feeder service, branded ‘BSF’, is to be launched by members of the ‘G6’ carrier alliance. Originally scheduled to start operations in early September, the new loop’s first sailing has been deferred by about one month.
The creation of the new ‘BSF’ follows the suspension of the G6 alliance’s ‘ABX’ Far East to Black Sea loop and it aims at serving ports formerly covered directly on that service via transhipment at Port Said.
The loop will be operated by Hapag-Lloyd and MOL, whereas APL, NYK, and Hyundai are expected to take slots. OOCL appears to have opted for an alternative solution with slots on the Zim-operated Far East to Black Sea service ‘EMX’.
A fleet of two ships will provide weekly fixed-day sailings on the service’s 14-day round trip: The MOL-operated 2,762 teu ATHENA, and the 2,825 teu MOZART, operated by Hapag-Lloyd.
The ‘BSF’ will call at Port Said, Ashdod, Ambarli (Istanbul Area), Constantza, Odessa, Ambarli (Istanbul Area), Ashdod and Port Said.
Transhipment options via Egypt include the G6’s Far East to Med service ‘EUM’ which recently moved its Egypt call from Damietta to Port Said and the Far East to Europe ‘Loop 4’, which is to add east- and westbound calls at Port Said soon.
The G6 alliance partners today announced the suspension of the carrier group’s Far East to Black Sea service ‘ABX’ in early September. At the same time, a new Port Said-based feeder will be established to serve the Black Sea and Med ports presently covered by the ‘ABX’.
OOCL furthermore announced that it will take slots on the ‘East Med to Black Sea Express’ (‘EBX’) service of Zim.
The ‘ABX’ presently calls at Ambarli (Istanbul), Constantza, Odessa, Ambarli (Istanbul), Ashdod, Port Said, Suez Canal (Way Point), Singapore, Ningbo, Shanghai, Shekou (Shenzhen), Hong Kong, Singapore, Suez Canal (Way Point), Port Said, Ashdod and Ambarli (Istanbul). The weekly service turns in 63 days and it deploys a fleet of nine ships in the size range from 5,300 to 6,750 teu. The vessels are provided by Hapag-Lloyd, MOL and OOCL.
The G6’s new weekly feeder loop will rotate as follows: Port Said, Ashdod, Ambarli (Istanbul), Constantza, Odessa, Ambarli (Istanbul), Ashdod, Port Said. It will turn in 14 days with a fleet of two ships of about 3,000 teu. The loop will therewith be an exact copy of the ‘ABX’ service’s Eastern Med to Black Sea leg.
Based at Port Said (East), the new Black Sea Feeder will connect with the alliance’s Asia to Western Med service ‘Loop 8’, also known as ‘EUM’, which recently moved its Eastern Med hub from Damietta to Port Said. In addition, the partner carriers might opt to add Port Said calls to a further Far East to Europe service in order to increase transhipment options between Asia and the Black Sea rim.
OOCL’s solution to opt for slots on Zim’s ‘EBX’ will give the carrier a slightly wider port coverage with Haifa, Ambarli (Istanbul), Novorossiysk, Odessa, Ambarli (Istanbul) and Haifa served in the Med and Black Sea. The Asian coverage of the service includes Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Dachan Bay (Shenzhen) and Port Kelang. Furthermore, the loop offers an eastbound call at Nhava Sheva, India.
In the mid-term, the capacity effect of the ‘ABX’ closure will be – if anything – small. Between them, the G6 carriers still have numerous ships of 13,000 teu or larger in the pipeline. These are expected to join the Asia to Europe trade lane in 2013 and 2014, where they will gradually replace 8,000 to 9,000 teu units. The G6 wil thus maintain its overall capacity on the route, even after the removal of the ‘ABX’.
This month, the Israel carrier Zim is applying a number of service changes to its network of intra-Med and Black Sea container liner services. These include the termination of slot-buying arrangements as well as the withdrawal of one shuttle loop. In summary, the alterations look as follows:
- Zim stops taking slots on the MSC-operated service, which calls at Haifa, Ashdod, Koper, Trieste, Marghera (Venice), Ravenna, Haifa.
- The Albania call at Durres is reinstated on the Israeli carriers’ Adriatic – Israel service which calls at Haifa, Ashdod, Durres (new), Koper, Trieste, Marghera (Venice), Ravenna, Alexandria, Haifa.
- Zim closes the single-ship Pireaus to Durres shuttle, so far operated with the 448 teu ELISABETH.
- Zim stops slot participation on the ‘Levant B’ Italy – Levant service of United Feeder Services, which called at Cagliari, Gioia Tauro, Mersin, Haifa, Ashdod, Alexandria, Salerno, Cagliari. United Feeder actually seems to be winding up the service altogether.
- The rotation of the Black Sea – Israel ‘ABX’ service is modified with the introduction of Ashdod and Izmit calls and the removal of the Novorossiysk call.
Evergreen Marine is downgrading one of its intra-Med service with the removal of one port and the deployment of a smaller vessel.
With immediate effect, the carrier is removing the Limassol call from its Greece – Egypt – Israel ‘LEV’ service. The 2,846 teu HS SCOTT has made the final visit at the Cyprus port last Monday and is actually phasing-out to be replaced by the 1,837 teu TAURUS which Evergreen is to charter-in. The vessel will trade alongside the 2,506 teu NIKOLAS.
The service’s shortened rotation now reads: Piraeus, Izmir, El Dekheila, Ashdod, Haifa, Mersin, Piraeus. The Cyprus call used to fit in between El Dekheila and Ashdod.
Limassol remains served by Evergreen on a dedicated Greece – Cyprus service, which the carrier opened on 7 April.