Maersk Line will add three European ports its Daily Maersk “conveyor belt” service between Asia and Europe, seeking to counter the recently announced alliance between rivals CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co.
Denmark-based Maersk will begin service to Le Havre, France, Hamburg, Germany, and Zeebrugge, Belgium, in mid-February. The service involves a 26-day transit from Shanghai to Zeebrugge and Le Havre and 28 days to Hamburg.
Shippers will benefit from shorter transit times and increased reliability, but they won’t receive cash compensation for late guaranteed deliveries available on the Daily Maersk service linking four Asian ports with Bremerhaven, Germany, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Felixstowe, England.
Maersk directly linked the enhanced service to the termination of its vessel sharing agreement with CMA CGM. The French carrier has entered a wide-ranging partnership with MSC on the Asia-Europe route and other key trade lanes.
“The cancellation of the vessel sharing agreement … offered us another opportunity to look at how we served customers moving cargo between Asia and North Europe,” said Vincent Clerc, vice president of Europe service at Maersk. “We found that without CMA we could actually offer an enhanced service to more customers in more corridors and maintain our promise on the Daily Maersk corridors. So that is what we did.”
A key aim of the CMA CGM-MSC alliance is to offer the same level of service as Maersk, said Michel Sirat, the French carrier’s chief financial officer.
The last sailing in the vessel sharing agreement with CMA will be the Maersk Edison, with a cut off in Ningbo, China, on Feb. 16. Maersk said it will also establish a new Asia-Mediterranean product to coincide with the termination of the vessel sharing agreement.
“The Daily Maersk is delivering what it promised. Since the first cut-off date on October 24 absolute reliability has been matched with average-on-cargo availability of 99.4 percent,” Maersk said.
The Daily Maersk deploys a fleet of 70 vessels on a seven-days-a-week service between Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian in China and Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, and northern Europe.
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