Tagged: black sea

Maersk – Seago opens seasonal Levant – Black Sea service

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.

In parallel, Maersk has already strengthened its seasonal coverage from Morocco to Russia with two dedicated services ensuring Agadir – St Petersburg links.


CMA CGM launches Egypt – Black Sea service

Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

The 677 teu MARINA / Credit: Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

Along with the begin of this winter’s citrus season, the French carrier CMA CGM is to re-open its seasonal container liner service between Egypt to the Black Sea. The new weekly fixed-day loop will serve two purposes:

  • Firstly, it will act as a fruit-oriented direct service from Damietta and Port Said to Novorossiysk, Russia’s main Black Sea import gateway for persihables.
  • Secondly, it will take over the role of CMA CGM’s Turkey to Novorossiysk Black Sea feeder, which is to be integrated into the wider rotation of the new Egypt to Russia link and whose only vessel – the 677 teu MARINA – will be absorbed by the new service.

Starting from 6 October, two ships will be employed on a 14-day round trip, calling at: Damietta, Port Said, Ambarli (Istanbul Area), Novorossiysk, Gemlik, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Damietta

In addition to the aforementioned MARINA, the French Line will deploy the 694 teu JRS CAPELLA to the service.

United Feeder Services will participate and take a slot allocation on the new connection.

Week 39 at a glance

OOCL becomes vessel operator on Zim’s Black Sea loop ‘EMX’

Following the closure of the G6 alliance’s Far East to Black Sea service ‘ABX’ and the establishement of a new Port Said-based feeder as a replacement, the G6 member OOCL will now become a vessel operator on Zim’s ‘EMX’ loop.

OOCL had already announced that – contrary to its alliance partners – it would seek an alternative to the feeder connection and take slots on the Zim service. Now it turns out that OOCL will go one step further and not only become a slot partner, but a vessel operator on the ‘EMX’.

As of October, OOCL will therefore subcharter two 4,553 teu vessels from Zim, the ZIM KINGSTON and ZIM DALIAN. The ships will be renamed OOCL ISTANBUL and OOCL NOVOROSSIYSK, respectively.

Zim reorganises Greece – Black Sea – Israel services

The Tel Aviv based container line Zim is in the process of modifying two of its regional loops in the Eastern Med and Black Sea arena.

Effective immediately, Zim’s Israel – Cyprus – Black Sea – Greece – Turkey loop ‘BSX’ will stop calling at Limassol and Haifa. Having lost its Israel – Cyprus leg, the loop will henceforth turn at Piraeus. The revised rotation, shortened from a 21-day round trip to a 14-day roster, now reads: Piraeus, Constantza, Varna, Ambarli (Istanbul), Izmit, Gemlik, Thessaloniki, Izmir, Piraeus.

The WARNOW BELUGA has phased out, leaving a fleet of two vessels on the ‘BSX’. The 1,296 teu vessel has meanwhile joined Zim’s ‘MCS’ service, which will take over the Israel – Cyprus – Greece connection from the ‘BSX’.

So far an intra-East Med service between Haifa and Antalya, the loop is now extended to call in Piraeus and Thessaloniki as well as Cyprus. Further to this, the Alexandria call, abandoned in June, has been reinstated.

The round-trip time was extended by one week to 14 days, with two ships to ensure weekly fixed-day sailings on an extended rotation that reads: Haifa, Mersin, Antalya, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Alexandria, Limassol. The loop will also temporary call at Mersin on selected sailings in October.

Launch of new G6 Black Sea Feeder scheduled for early October


The ‘BSF’ will be operated by Hapag-Lloyd and MOL / Credit: MOL

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.

Maersk extends ‘ME3’ loop to serve Novorossiysk

Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

The 5,060 teu SCT ZURICH phases into ‘ME3’ in order to maintain weekly sailings / Credit: Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

Maersk Line is to extend its India and Middle East to Turkey service ‘ME3’ into the Black Sea. As of next week, the loop will be lengthened from Istanbul-Ambarli, so far its western terminus, to serve the Russian port of Novorossiysk.

In order to maintain transit times to and from Turkey at a competitive level, the ports of Mersin, Ambarli (Istanbul) and Izmit will henceforce be called twice on each cycle – before and after the Black Sea leg. This double coverage will also allow Maersk to use the Novorossiysk leg as an additional Black Sea Feeder from Turkey, as well as from Egypt, where the loop already features double calls at Port Said.

As a consequence of the extension, the round trip duration of the ‘ME3’ will be stretched from 42 days to 49 days. A seventh ship, the 5,060 teu panamax SCT ZURICH, will phase in soon to maintain weekly fixed-day departures.

The extended rotation of the loop looks as follows: Mersin, Izmit, Ambarli (Istanbul Area), Novorossiysk, Mersin, Ambarli (Istanbul Area), Izmit, Port Said, Suez Canal (way point), Jeddah, Jebel Ali, Pipavav, Hazira, Nhava Sheva, Jebel Ali, Salalah, Suez Canal (way point), Port Said, Mersin.

Capacity on this service is also marketed by Safmarine, which advertises the service as its ‘PRIME3’.