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.
The European shortsea container specialist Unifeeder today announced the launch of a new service from the northern France port of Dunkerque to Russia’s St Petersburg.
Unifeeder said the loop was scheduled to launch in early November with weekly departures and it would feature a stopover at Rotterdam, where connections with other Unifeeder services are offered.
According to the carrier the new loop will focus on the French market and reefer containers to Russia. The reefer service aims in particular at the agricultural and food sectors.
The shipping line commented: ‘After a great success with the opening of our Antwerp to St. Petersburg service in the beginning of 2012 and with increasing cargo volumes from France, we feel confident that there is a highly interesting market in France’.
Unifeeder currently deploy six vessels between Russia and port of Germany and the Benelux countries, as well as one vessel which serves Gdynia and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
For Dunkirk, Unifeeder’s new service will be second link to St Petersburg, adding to CMA CGM’s ‘St Petersburg A’ Baltic service.
Unifeeder is the largest lolo shortsea operator in Northern Europe and it operates a fleet of over 40 vessels in the size range from 700 to 1,600 teu. The carrier refers to itself as the ‘asset light logistics company’ since its entire vessel fleet is time chartered. Since April this year, Unifeeder is owned by the Stockholm-based private equity investment firm Nordic Capital.
Team Lines, a subsidiary of the Belgian Delphis Group and a specialist in the north European feeder market, is to replace the St Petersburg call by a call at Ust-Luga on its ‘RUS1’ service. Ust-Luga, a satellite port of greater St Petersburg region, will be served as of mid-June.
The revised ‘RUS1’ will call at: Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Ust-Luga, Bremerhaven and it will be maintained by the 1,036 teu sisters ANNE SIBUM and GRETE SIBUM.
The ‘RUS1’ is presently served as part of a two-loop system, referred to as the ‘FIN1’-‘RUS1’ butterfly. This means that two Northrange-Baltic rotations have been operationally joined to form a butterfly with a 21-day round trip time and weekly fixed-day sailings on each of the two wings. It therefore remains to be seen which of two scenarios actually plays out: Team Lines might continue to run the three-week butterfly and add another service on top of it, meaning that Ust-Luga would be served additionally, with two extra ships added to the fleet. Alternatively, Team Lines might simply de-merge the ‘FIN1’-‘RUS1’ butterfly back into two 14-day loops, each served with two ships. This would require the addition of one vessel. In this case, Ust-Luga would effectively replace one of Team Lines’s St. Petersburg calls.
With immediate effect, CMA CGM has modified the European Northrange rotation of its ‘St Petersburg Feeder A’, one of four weekly services, which the French Lines offers to the Russian city of St Petersburg. The northern French port of Dukirk has been moved to the start of the rotation, which now reads:
Dunkirk, Zeebruegge, Antwerp, Kiel Canal (way point), St Petersburg, Kiel Canal (way point),Dunkirk.
At Dunkirk, CMA CGM offers connections to various deep sea services including the large-scale MSC-operated ‘Lion’ (which CMA CGM calls ‘FAL7’) and CMA CGM’s standalone Europe-India service ‘EPIC’.
CMA CGM’s ‘St Petersburg Feeder A’ turns in 14 days with a fleet of two ships. The vessels in service are the 1,436 teu ALSTERDIJK and the 1,480 teu INDEPENDENT CONCEPT.