As reported earlier, the proposed Far East to (Northern) Europe network of the P3 will consist of eight weekly loops. This compares to the present set up of nine loops for Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM. The one-loop reduction will not have any meaningful capacity effect since larger ships, mainly in the form of 18,270 teu Maersk-EEE classes, are being phased-in successively.
The P3 service restructuring will see consolidation of Southeast Asia transhipment hub calls toward Tanjung Pelepas, at the expense of Singapore and Port Kelang.
Two services, the ‘Baltic / FAL7 / AE8’ and the ‘Skaw / FAL8 / AE9’ will feature direct calls in the Baltic Sea. One of the loops will reach as far as Poland, while the other will only call at Gothenburg, Sweden. Maersk Line had pioneered direct calls in the Baltic Sea with large Asia-Europe mainline tonnage, but the participation in such slings is new for MSC and CMA CGM.
The low number of calls at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest container port, comes as a major surprise. Depending upon the future patterns of feeder services and on-carriage, both Antwerp and Bremerhaven appear to benefit from the changes. Most other ports will roughly see the same number of calls as now (or one less call because of the overall reduction in loops).
The eight Far East to Europe loops look as follows (MSC name / CMA CGM name / Maersk Name):
Albatros / FAL1 / AE1: 9x 19,000 teu
Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Tanger Med, Suez Canal (way point), Tanjung Pelepas, Yantian (Shenzhen), Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Tanjung Pelepas, Suez Canal (way point), Algeciras, Tanger Med, Rotterdam.
Pendulum, Lion / FAL2 / AE2: 16×11,500 teu
Zeebrugge, Dunkirk, Southampton, Le Havre, Marsaxlokk, Suez Canal (way point), King Abdullah City, Jeddah, Singapore, Vung Tau (aka Cai Mep), Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen) / USWC / Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian (Shenzhen), Chiwan (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, Sines, Antwerp, Zeebrugge.
Shogun / FAL3 / AE5: 11×13,000 teu
Le Havre, Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Rotterdam, Suez Canal (way point), Colombo, Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama, Ningbo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yantian (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, Suez Canal (way point), Le Havre.
Condor / FAL5 / AE6: 10×8,500 teu
Southampton, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Algeciras, Beirut, Suez Canal (way point), Port Kelang, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Suez Canal (way point), Southampton.
Swan / FAL6 / AE7: 11×13,000 teu
Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Suez Canal (way point), Tanjung Pelepas, Shanghai, Busan, Dalian, Tianjin (aka Xingang), Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Yantian (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, Suez Canal (way point), Rotterdam.
Baltic / FAL7 / AE8: 12×14,000 teu
Bremerhaven, Gdansk, Aarhus, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Suez Canal (way point), Singapore, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Busan, Kwangyang, Shanghai, Yantian (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, Suez Canal (way point), Bremerhaven.
Skaw / FAL8 / AE9: 12×13,000 teu
Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, Gothenburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, Suez Canal (way point), Salalah, Khor Al Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Singapore, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Nansha, Yantian (Shenzhen), Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo, Suez Canal (way point), Felixstowe.
Silk / FAL9 / AE10: 12×13000 teu
Le Havre, Antwerp, Hamburg, Felixstowe, Gioia Tauro, Suez Canal (way point), Khor Al Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Singapore, Yantian (Shenzhen), Tianjin (aka Xingang), Kwangyang, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Singapore, Suez Canal (way point), Le Havre.
Effective last week, Maersk Line has merged two of its South East Asia feeders, the Straits – Sihanoukville loop and the Straits – Penang loop, into a single butterfly service running alongside following rotation: Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Sihanoukville, Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Penang, Tanjung Pelepas.
The new service offers weekly departures and is served by the 1,730 teu WEHR BLANKENESE and her sister vessel SZCZECIN TRADER. Both vessels are geared B 170 type.
Effective July, Maersk Line is to reorganise its Straits – Australia and New Zealand coverage with a thorough revisit of its combined ‘Northern Star’ and ‘Southern Star’ service, a butterfly loop organized around Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore. The two-loop pattern presently consists of alternating sailings from the Straits hubs to Australia and New Zealand’s North Island (northern wing) and to New Zealand’s Northern and Southern Islands (southern wing). A joint fleet of ten ships of about 2,800 teu maintains the service whereby the ships switch between the two wings after each round trip.
Maersk Line will now effectively separate the two wings of the butterfly into two distinct services, each operated by its own dedicated fleet. The move will go hand in hand with a notable increase in vessels size. The newly separated loops will not be exact copies for the northern and southern wings, as Maersk Line will incorporate some additional changes.
The new ‘New Zealand service’ will call at: Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Nelson, Wellington, Tauranga, Tanjung Pelepas. It will turn in six weeks and will be served by a fleet of 2,800+ vessels so far employed on the butterfly. It has yet to be confirmed whether five or six ships will be deployed. Unlike the former northern wing which called at Brisbane, there is no Australia call.
The new ‘Australia & New Zealand service’ will call at: Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Auckland, Brisbane, Lyttelton, Otago (Port Chalmers), Tanjung Pelepas. It will turn in five weeks and will be served by the Odense-built Maersk L-series of 4,500 teu baby-overpanamax vessels: LEDA MAERSK, LAUST MAERSK, LICA MAERSK, LAURA MAERSK, and LEXA MAERSK.
Maersk Line’s 4,500 teu Odense-L-type ships will be re-deployed from their previous assignment to the ‘ME4’, a West Med – Subcontinent service, which is currently in the process of being shut down, as cargo liftings are to be ensured by the up-gauged ‘ME2’.
While the Danish carrier thus found a new home for five of the 4,500 teu vessels in the New-Zealand trade, it has yet to announce the fate of the five displaced 2,800 teu units. Some of them might be re-assigned withn the Maersk network, temporarily idled, or returned to owners. The influx of the L-classes alone will result in a weekly capacity increase of about 1,700 teu on the Straits to Australia and New Zealand trade lane.