The Port of Charleston got more good news last week when Hamburg Sud announced it will switch calls to Charleston from Savannah in mid-September by its service between Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. East Coast.
The move by the German line will give Charleston its fourth new container service this year. The news came hard on the heels of the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that it can complete its study of the feasibility of deepening Charleston’s harbor to 50 feet from the current 45 feet sooner than expected and at less cost.
The first ship on the Hamburg Sud service calling Charleston will be the Bahia Grande, which will arrive at the Wando Welch Container Terminal on Sept. 21. The last ship handled in Savannah will be the Maersk Bratan on Sept. 14.
“We are pleased to add a new, weekly Australia service in the Port of Charleston, which effectively fills a gap in our service offerings,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority.
“With this transfer we now have four weekly liner services in the port and have consolidated our network in the Southeast in Charleston,” said Mayra Ortiz at Hamburg Sud North America. “In total Hamburg Sud will now have 208 annual ship calls in Charleston with owned ships or through arrangements with our partner lines.”
Hamburg Sud deploys 10 vessels with capacities ranging from 2,800 to 3,500 20-foot-equivalent units and 500 to 700 reefer plugs on the 70-day roundtrip voyage. When the change of calls to Charleston is completed in September, the port rotation of the Hamburg Sud service will be as follows: Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Timanu, Port Chalmers, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Colon, Cartagena, Philadelphia, Charleston, Cartagena, Balboa and back to Auckland.
The four new services announced this year at the Port of Charleston will mean five additional port calls each week. In a typical summer week, the port sees more than 30 ship calls.