Maersk Line has decided to drop this week’s Baltic Sea leg (Bremerhaven, Gdansk, Aarhus, Goteborg, Bremerhaven) of its AE10 Asia-Europe service and feeder all eastbound containers originating from the Baltic Sea area and scheduled to be loaded onto the EUGEN MAERSK via the European Northern Range instead.
For this purpose, Maersk Line has chartered the 4,112 teu panamax SANTA ROBERTA from the German non-operating owner Claus-Peter Offen for a Baltic Sea round trip.
The rationale behind this move is to allow the heavily delayed EUGEN MAERSK to get back on schedule. The ship had suffered an onboard cargo fire in the Arabian Sea some weeks ago and had to divert to Djibouti for inspection. While the damage was later found to be limited, the diversion has delayed the jumbo vessel by almost one week.
The SANTA ROBERTA picked up cargo at Aarhus and Goteburg and carried it to the German Port of Wilhelmshaven, where the Eurogate group runs the Jade-Weser-Port, a new greenfield container terminal that has not been well received by the market so far and which lies almost unused. The EUGEN MAERSK will make an ad-hoc call at Wilhelmshaven to load the feedered cargo, allowing the ship to skip the Baltic appendix of its present round trip.
Westbound cargo onboard the EUGEN MAERSK, destined for the Baltic Sea, is expected to be carried onboard the regular AE10 voyage of EVELYN MAERSK, with transhipment at Bremerhaven. Since EVELYN MAERSK is traveling on schedule, she follows very shortly after the delayed EUGEN MAERSK.
In addition to the Thailand-extension of Maersk Line’s and Safmarines ‘Mashariki’, it turns out that Maersk will lengthen a second Africa-related loop, which so far turned in the Singapore Straits, to Laem Chabang.
As of mid-July, the Danish carrier’s ‘Horn of Africa’ service will be extended to Laem Chabang and will thus become the first loop to offer a direct connection between Thailand and Port Sudan. In order to accommodate the extra steaming distance, the loop’s round trip time will be increased from 42 days to 49 days and a seventh ship will be added.
The revised rotation reads: Tanjung Pelepas, Jebel Ali, Djibouti, Jeddah, Port Sudan, Laem Chabang, Djibouti, Tanjung Pelepas. The new port of Laem Chabang will first be visited by the 3,604 teu NEDLLOYD AFRICA.