Further to the recent strengthening of its Morocco – North Europe route for the citrus season, CMA CGM is to inject three more vessels into the trade lane. The carrier will add to its recently relaunched fortnightly single-ship ‘Dunkrus’ service with a new ‘wider’ loop with three vessels on a 21-day roundtrip with weekly departures.
The 1,732 teu EM SPETSES has been chartered by the French Line to join the 1,347 SHANTI and JAMILA on the ‘extended’ ‘Dunkrus’ with the following rotation: Casablanca, Agadir, Dunkirk, Portsmouth, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Nador, Casablanca.
CMA CGM innovates this year with the inclusion of a Portsmouth call into the ‘Dunkrus’ service. The loop will be the second service to offer a Casablanca-UK leg in addition to OPDR’s Canaries – Morocco – Iberia – Northern Range loop ‘CISS’.
Further to the aforementioned changes, CMA CGM will revise its St Petersburg ‘Shuttle A’ and move the service’s Dunkirk call in order to shorten transit times between Morocco and Russia via transhipment in France.
The revised rotation will be: Zeebrugge, Antwerp, Dunkirk, St Petersburg (two terminals), Zeebrugge.
Maersk and its intra-Europe affiliate Seago Line will replace their weekly Scandinavia and Northern Europe to Morocco ‘KNSM’ service with two new weekly loops. Unlike the ‘KNSM’, which turns at the Swedish port of Helsingborg, the two successor loops, scheduled to take over in late October, will both extend further northeast to St Petersburg.
The capacity expansion and the service extension to St Petersburg are timed to coincide with the start of the trade’s winter citrus season. Both new services will offer weekly departures from Morocco’s main fruit export gateways Casablanca and Agadir.
The first service will turn in three weeks and offer an ‘express’ coverage with nonstop sailings from Morocco to Russia. The loop will trade along the following rotation: Casablanca, Agadir, Kiel Canal (way point), St Petersburg, Kiel Canal (way point), Rotterdam, Casablanca
The ice-classed 868 teu ‘Sietas 168’ type ANNA SIRKKA (234 reefer plugs) will be deployed, alongside a further two yet to be nominated ships.
The second new loop will turn in four weeks and will cover a somewhat higher number of ports. It will call at: Casablanca, Agadir, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Kiel Canal (way point), St Petersburg, Gdansk, Kiel Canal (way point), Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Casablanca.
The first ship to join the service will be the ice-classed 1,036 WES AMELIE. Three further ships are to be nominated soon.
All seven ships to be employed on the two new loops will feature ice class in order to maintain coverage of St Petersburg throughout the winter season.
In order to uphold the Sweden and Denmark coverage of the to-be-closed ‘KNSM’ service, a new Copenhagen and Helsingborg leg will be added to Maersk’s existing Bremerhaven-based Finland butterfly service, which therewith mutates into a triple-wing butterfly.
In its present form, the butterfly had been created in early September, when a Riga and Helsinki calls were added. With a fourth ship added, the service’s fleet now performs three alternating rotations ex Bremerhaven. A Russia-Finland wing, a Latvia-Finland wing, and a (new) Denmark-Sweden wing: Bremerhaven,St Petersburg, Rauma, Bremerhaven, Riga, Helsinki, Bremerhaven, Copenhagen, Helsingborg, Bremerhaven.
In addition to Maersk-Seago, CMA CGM has already boosted its Europe to Morocco coverage for the citrus season with the re-launch of its ‘Dunkrus’ service.
Maersk’s offer is however special, because of the Danish carrier’s direct links to St Petersburg.
In time for the upcoming Citrus season, the French Line CMA CGM is to boost its links from northern Africa to Europe. Late this month, the carrier will restart its seasonal ‘Dunkrus’ service which it suspended in May.
The loop will reopen on 25 Sep with the first sailing of the 966 teu CMA CGM AGADIR and it will link Casablanca, Agadir, Dunkirk, Antwerp, Casablanca. For the time being, the service is announced as forthnightly with one ship on a 14-day roundtrip.
CMA CGM’s revived ‘Dunkrus’ adds to the carrier’s ‘Casa4’ loop, operated in partnership with the German OPDR. This service connects Casablanca to Antwerp, Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Le Havre and Rouen.
Further to the above, CMA CGM will once again begin to take seasonal slots on the West Mediterranean leg of Tarros’ ‘Great Pendulum’ service. The relevant leg of this loop connects La Spezia, Salerno, Genoa with Casablanca, Setubal and Sines.
The end of the North African citrus export season has prompted CMA CGM to make a number of changes to its Morocco services:
At the end of April, the French carrier halted its ‘DUNKRUS’ service. The loop so far linked Casablanca and Agadir with the French port of Dunkirk and the Belgian main port of Antwerp and it deployed the 1,118 teu twins STADT BREMERHAVEN and EL TORO. The loop’s final sailing departed from Agadir on 30 April. Back in February, CMA CGM had announced the merger of the Dunkrus service with the carrier’s other North Europe Morocco service ‘Agadir Express’. Despite the initial announcement, the two services however continued to run in parallel. With the citrus export season now over, the North Europe – Morocco scaling-down is now taking place for good.
The Port Vendres service, between Casablanca, Agadir and the Spanish and French ports of Port Vendres, Barcelona and Marseilles, is suspended as well. The 862 teu BF ESPERANZA made its final sailing on the loop from Agadir on 2 May.
Meanwhile, a new CMA CGM intra-Morocco service between the line’s Gibraltar Straits hub Tanger Med and Casablanca as well as Agadir will start on 11 May. The new service will maintain connections between Casablanca and Agadir and the rest of the carrier’s mainline network via transhipment at Tanger Med.
On 11 May, CMA CGM will inaugurate a weekly service linking Casablanca and Agadir to Tanger Med.
The 506 teu OUED ZIZ will perform the rotation in seven days. She was so far assigned to cross Med shuttles between France/Spain and the Maghreb.