The liner shipping company Safmarine, a subsidiary of Maersk Line, has added calls northbound at Tangiers, Morocco, to three of its weekly Algeciras-West Africa services, the WAF1, WAF3, and WAF11.
All three Safmarine-led loops share space with parent Maersk Line.
The five-ship, average 2,283-TEU WAF1 now has a revised rotation of Algeciras, Tema, Takoradi, Tangiers, and Algeciras.
WAF3, which operates with four vessels averaging 2,500 TEUs, has a revised rotation of Algeciras, Apapa, Tangiers, and Algeciras.
Finally WAF11, operated with four average 2,488-TEU vessels, now has a revised rotation of Algeciras, Lome, Onne, Tangiers, and Algeciras.
The new Tangiers calls are Safmarine's first direct connections between the port and West Africa, (or anywhere), since October, when the carrier withdrew Tangiers from the rotation of all 12 of its West African feeder loops. At the time, the carrier cited "dissatisfactory service levels" and a "combination of repeated disruptions and a lack of any guarantee of improvements in the foreseeable future" as the reason for the withdrawal.
Parent company Maersk Line, however, currently calls Tangiers eastbound on two of its weekly Asia-Europe services: the nine ship average 6,086-TEU AE9, as well as the much larger AE10, which operates with 11 of the carrier’s largest vessels (averaging 14,848 TEUs). See also American Shipper Jan 11
It appears that whereas Maersk was previously using Tangiers as a southbound last-port-out transshipment hub for West African cargo, connecting mainly with inbound ships from Asia, the flow has now been reversed. Export cargo from West Africa is discharging first-port-in at Tangiers, mainly for connection with outbound services to Asia. The WAF1, WAF3 and WAF11 feeder ships then move to nearby Algeciras to reload with southbound cargo as the new last-port-out for West Africa. — ComPair Data, Ben Meyer and Francis Phillips