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.
At the end of this month, Maersk-Seago will dissolve its current Port Said-based butterfly loop into two separate fortnighly feeders which also trade on butterfly patterns. Together, these will insure weekly coverage of a number of key ports (Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Beirut), as well as fortnightly service to the remaining ports (Mersin, Iskenderun, Izmir).
The existing butterfly service alternates between a Turkish and a Greek wing and it calls at: Port Said, Mersin, Iskenderun, Port Said, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Port Said. The service deploys the 1,373 teu MAERSK TORINO and the 1,092 teu ALEXANDER MAERSK on a 14-day round trip.
The revised pattern creates the two following ‘new’ services, each of which will trade on 14-day cycles:
- Operated by the MAERSK TORINO: Port Said, Beirut, Mersin, Iskenderun, Port Said, Beirut, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Port Said.
- Operated by the ALEXANDER MAERSK: Port Said, Izmir, Port Said, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Port Said.
United Feeder Services will take slots on the Port Said-Beirut link.
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’.
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.
Seago Line, the Intra Europe specialist of the Maersk Group, is to suspend its seasonal service between Israel and Russia, at the end of May.
The Ashdod – Novorossiysk shuttle opened in November 2012, as part of a northern hemisphere winter program under which a number of fast reefer loops are established. The loop originally served Mersin, which was dropped in late February.
Two ships have been deployed on this rotation: the 868 teu ANGELA and the 997 teu VEGA AQUILA, which are expected to be redelivered to their respective owners.
This follows the recent suspension of the ‘sister’ loop run by CMA CGM (read: East Med Citrus services come to a halt).
MSC maintains direct Israel-Russia Black Sea services, alongside Zim who operates the 1,702 teu ODESSA STAR and the 1,296 teu WARNOW PORPOISE on its ‘BSX’ service.