The ocean carrier Maersk Line has converted its North Europe and Mediterranean-to-West Africa WAF6 service into an exclusive West Africa feeder based on Maersk’s West-Mediterranean hubs in Tangiers, Morocco and Algeciras, Spain, dropping previous calls in North Europe as well as one in West Africa.
Previously, the WAF6 linked North Europe directly with West Africa via the Mediterranan, but Maersk has now dropped calls in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Le Havre, and Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Maersk recently added a second (northbound) call at Abidjan to the WAF2 service (reported by American Shipper Sept. 4
), ostensibly to ensure port coverage from the West Mediterranean. The revised rotation of the WAF6 is Algeciras, Apapa, Douala, Tangiers, and Algeciras.
The carrier has also withdrawn two of the six vessels previously employed on the service and reduced roundtrip voyage time from 42 days to 28 days, meaning the weekly service will henceforth operate with four vessels, three from subsidiary Safmarine and one from Maersk, with an average capacity of 2,478 TEUs. Although roundtrip voyage time on the WAF6 has decreased by two full weeks, transit times between Maersk’s West-Mediterranean hubs and West Africa remain roughly the same, taking 10 days from Algeciras to Apapa in Lagos, Nigeria and 16 days on the return.
Since the termination of Maersk’s WAF10 service (reported by American Shipper July 20
), Maersk now operates a total of 10 direct weekly services between Tangiers/Algeciras and West Africa including the revised WAF6, the others being its WAF1, WAF2, WAF3, WAF5, WAF7, WAF8, WAF9, WAF11 and WAF13 loops. None of them, however, call at any of the North Europe ports dropped from the rotation of the WAF6, although the WAF5 and WAF9 both call at Leixoes and Lisbon, Portugal. - ComPair Data
, Ben Meyer