Sri Lanka's Colombo port stands to gain more container transhipment business with Maersk.
Sri Lanka's Colombo port stands to gain more container transhipment business with Maersk, the world biggest container shipping line by volume, deciding to stop direct calls at Chennai, officials said. Maersk Line has announced it will stop direct calls at Chennai on its 'MECL2' service linking south Asia to North America with the last vessel calling at the south Indian port on February 5.
"This will mean more transhipment business for Colombo," said Amal Rodrigo, country manager for Maersk Line.
"Instead of our ship going to Chennai and loading there, it will pick up the Chennai cargo from Colombo. There are fairly large export volumes from Chennai which will be sent on feeder vessels to Colombo."
Maersk Line in its announcement to the trade said that while Chennai has been moved from the rotation of its ships, it will offer multiple feeder sailings from Chennai to Colombo for onward connection to the MECL2 service.
"This will now result in multiple weekly sailings and will also ensure continuous cargo carting at Chennai," the line said in a statement.
This will mean that container cargo from Chennai will be sent on smaller feeder vessels to Colombo to be transhipped on to the bigger 'mother vessel' plying the main trade route to North America.
The move is part of a reorganisation of Maersk services to cut costs following heavy losses owing to the downturn in global trade and oversupply of ships.
Maersk Lines' parent A P Moller-Maersk has reported a loss of 778 million dollars for the first nine months of the year.
Maersk is expected to loss about a billion dollars this year compared with a profit of 3.5 billion dollars a year earlier.
Most shipping lines have been suffering losses because of the slump in cargo volumes and freight rates.