Mediterranean Shipping Company and the Shipping Corporation of India formed a vessel sharing agreement to launch a direct container service linking the Indian subcontinent and the Mediterranean, starting Aug. 26.
The two carriers, which have been jointly operating the India-Subcontinent-Europe-Service since May last year, said the weekly India-Mediterranean Service will deploy a total of six vessels, each with capacities between 3,000 and 3,500 20-foot equivalent units. MSC will contribute four vessels and SCI two.
The port rotation is Colombo, Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru), Mundra, Salalah, Port Said, Istanbul, Barcelona, Genoa, La Spezia, Port Said, Salalah and back to Colombo.
MSC said with a direct call at Istanbul, it is in a position to offer connections to ports in Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Israel and the Black Sea region.
The Geneva-based company also said the I-Med will complement its existing services from India to Europe that include the Aussie-Jeddah, connecting the southeast India trade through transshipment over Colombo, and the IPAK as well as ISES via Nhava Sheva and Mundra.
The ISES, deploying seven 3,500-TEU vessels, calls Colombo, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Salalah, Port Said, Barcelona, Hamburg, Antwerp, Felixstowe, Jeddah, and back to Colombo.
Separately, state-owned SCI said it plans to acquire two 6,500-TEU vessels during the current fiscal year ending March 31 to boost container operations.