To skip sailing positions from Asia in October, the ocean carrier Maersk Line has added an additional vessel to two of its three weekly services between Asia and West Africa, increasing roundtrip voyage time by one week on each loop.
The carrier added a 13th vessel to its FEW2 loop, further increasing roundtrip voyage time from 84 days to 91 days and an 11th vessel to the FEW3 loop, (which calls at Cape Town in addition to West Africa), increasing roundtrip voyage time from 70 days to 77 days.
FEW2 transit times eastbound from West Africa to Asia have increased by about seven days as vessels slow steam one extra week between Walvis Bay, Namibia and Maersk’s mega-regional hub in Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, and the service is scheduled to skip one sailing position commencing Busan, South Korea on Oct. 9.
FEW3 transit times westbound from Asia to West Africa have increased by about seven days as vessels slow steam one extra week between Cape Town, South Africa, and Pointe Noire, Congo, now taking 28 days from Tanjung Pelepas to Pointe Noire. The FEW3 is likewise scheduled to skip one sailing position, commencing Yantian, China, on Oct. 10.
These latest slowdowns come just a few months after Maersk’s decision to slow both the FEW2 and its third weetkly Asia-to-West Africa service, the FEW1, by one week each and increase capacity on the FEW3 by almost 24 percent (reported by American Shipper July 6
and June 14
reported July 25
that Maersk altered the FEW3 to accommodate the carrier’s new vessel sharing agreement on the service with French carrier CMA CGM. At that time, Maersk had speeded up the service, decreasing roundtrip voyage time from 84 days to 70 days, and dropped calls in Qingdao, Ningbo, and Shanghai, which were initially added to the FEW3 back in May (reported by American Shipper May 18
), in favor of new calls at Yantian and Port Kelang.
The rotation of the now 12-ship average 4,497-TEUs FEW2 remains Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Nansha, Tanjung Pelepas, Walvis Bay, Apapa, Tema, Walvis Bay, Tanjung Pelepas, Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Busan. Maersk’s subsidiary line Safmarine continues to provide one of the 12 vessels.
The FEW3 service currently operates with 11 vessels (eight from Maersk, one from Safmarine, and two from CMA CGM), with an average capacity of 4,154 TEUs, and the rotation remains Yantian, Nansha, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Cape Town, Pointe Noire, Tema, Cape Town, and Yantian.
Maersk and CMA CGM now cooperate closely, with joint services in many trades, but the FEW3 remains the only cooperation in a direct service between Asia and West Africa. - ComPair Data
, Ben Meyer