Tagged: Mediterranean Sea

Week 44 at a glance

Hapag-Lloyd adds Paita call to Centram – WCSA loop ‘MXP’

Aleksi Linstroem

The CONTI SALOME, one of the three vessels deployed on ‘MXP’ / Credit: Aleksi Lindström

Hapag-Lloyd today announced the addition of a call at Paita, Peru, to its ‘MXP’ container liner service between Mexico and the northern WCSA. The new port will be served weekly from 8 August.

The German carrier said that the Paita call was specifically aimed at reefer customers, whom it would give more possibilities to move cargo efficiently and faster to Asia, Mexico, the US West Coast and the Mediterranean. The carrier therefore offers transhipment opportunities at Manzanillo (Mexico), to its WCNA-Med loop and Asia-related services such as its ‘AME1’.

The revised rotation of the ‘MXP’ reads as follows: Manzanillo (Mexico), Buenaventura, Callao, Paita (new), Guayaquil, Manzanillo

Despite the extra ports, the service continues to turn in 21 days. It deploys a fleet of three geared vessels of about 2,100 teu.

Spain call dropped as MSC revises its Far East to Europe ‘Lion’ service

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MSC will now offer 16 calls per week at the Sines terminal / Credit: Port of Sines

With immediate effect, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is revising the rotation of its North Europe – Far East ‘Lion’ service, with the removal of the Valencia call and the addition of a second Sines call. The Lion service, operated as part of a North Europe to Far East service partnership with CMA CGM who market the loop as ‘FAL 7’, has thus lost its one and only Mediterranean call.

One of the rationales behind the removal of Valencia might be MSC’s recent strengthening of the Far East to South Africa trade lane, which allows the carrier to increasingly move West Africa-related cargo to the Far East along the ‘southern route’ via transhipment in South Africa, rather than along the ‘northern route’ via transhipment in the Mediterranean. The South Africa routes have been boosted with increasingly large ships on the Europe – South Africa – Far East pendulum ‘Cheetah’ and the launch of the new ECSA – South Africa – Far East loop ‘Ipanema’, which features an eastbound call at Ngqura (aka Coega).

Despite the removal of Valencia from the ‘Lion’, transhipment connections between West Africa and Europe remain insured on this loop both ways via Sines.

The 13,092 teu MSC CRISTINA made the final visit at Valencia on 23 May and the 12,562 teu MSC FABIOLA will inaugurate the new eastbound call at Sines on 21 June. The revised rotation reads:

Rotterdam, Antwerp, Dunkirk, Felixstowe, Sines (new), Suez (way point), Port Kelang, Singapore, Yantian, Chiwan, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Chiwan, Singapore, Suez (way point), Sines, Le Havre, Rotterdam.

The port of Sines, which now features both ways on the ‘Lion’ has a double function for MSC: It serves both as an import and export gateway to Spain and Portugal, but also as a transhipment port between various trades.

14 liner services call at SINES. MSC in involved in all of them, either directly or indirectly, through its intra-Europe specialised arm and subsidiary WEC Lines.  These include the Europe to South Africa and Far East pendulum, a North Europe to ECSA loop, a North Europe to West Africa loop, but also the services linking the Mediterranean to the ECNA, the US Gulf and to the West Coast of North America as well as intra-Europe services. The ‘Lion / FAL 7’ is the only Europe far East service calling at Sines.

MSC, through its Dutch-registered sister company Terminal Investments Limited (TIL), is a shareholder in the Sines container terminal. The lead partner in the joint venture is PSA International of Singapore.

United Feeder strengthens Tunis coverage

BF CARTAGENA - 509 teu - 9123817

The 509 teu BF CARTAGENA is to sail alongside sister BF CATANIA  / Credit: Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

Effective end of June, the Mediterranean short-sea specialist United Feeder Services (UFS) is to strengthen its Italy – Tunis coverage with the assignment of a second 509 teu vessel to the service between Cagliari and Rades (Tunis).

At the same time, UFS will re-organise its Cagliari-based two-wing mini-butterfly into a three-wing mini-butterfly pattern with one Italian wing and two consecutive Tunisian wings.

So far, the 509 teu BF CATANIA used to make one round-trip every nine days, calling at Cagliari, Rades, Cagliari, Trapani, Cagliari. As of late June, the vessel will be joined by her sister ship BF CARTAGENA and the two will trade alongside each other on a revised rotation. The vessels will maintain a 15-day service, which will consist of three consecutive Cagliari-based legs – all of which a different. Leg one is an Italian mini-loop with Naples and Catania (eastern Sicily) calls, leg two is a Tunisian mini-loop with a Rades call only and leg three is a combined Tunisia and Trapani (western Sicily) mini-loop.

Effectively, this means that Rades, the port of Tunis, will be served twice a week, whereas the Italian ports will each be served once per week.

The revised service now turns as follows: Cagliari, Catania, Naples, Cagliari, Rades, Cagliari, Rades, Trapani, Cagliari.

Since the entire rotation takes between 15 and 16 days to complete, as opposed to 14, the service does not trade on fixed days of the week.