After a two-month slowdown, ocean carrier Maersk Line has resumed a six-week roundtrip voyage time on its MESA service between the Middle East and South Africa and added new calls at the Indian Ocean ports of Reunion Island, Port Louis, and Toamasina, as well as the carrier’s major Middle East hub at Salalah and Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Over the next two months, Maersk will also increase capacity on the MESA by swapping the vessels for larger ones currently deployed on the carrier’s Horn of Africa service. The average capacity of the six Maersk MESA vessels will rise from 2,235 TEUs to 3,485 TEUs, an increase of nearly 56 percent.
reported Feb 22
that the loop had slowed to seven weeks, with transit times northbound to the Middle East from South Africa on the MESA increasing by about seven days, taking 24 days between Durban and Dubai.
As reported at that time, the MESA loop had also dropped a port call at Port Elizabeth in favor of a new call at Cape Town, but Maersk has since added Port Elizabeth back to the rotation along with calls at Salalah, Reunion Island, Port Louis, and Toamasina, while dropping the call at Cape Town as well as calls in Karachi and Nhava Sheva, leaving a revised rotation of Dubai, Salalah, Reunion Island, Port Louis, Toamasina, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Port Louis, and Dubai. Transit between Durban and Dubai northbound has improved to 15 days.
The MESA is one of six Maersk and Safmarine services that connect the Middle East directly with the African continent. Only the carrier’s Indian Ocean service, however, likewise connects Salalah weekly with Reunion Island, Port Louis, and Toamasina, as wells as the Seychelles Island port of Victoria. — ComPair Data
, Ben Meyer