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Ship capacity being pulled back

Ship capacity being pulled back
Ship capacity is being pulled off the North Atlantic as several major lines serving Montreal combine forces.

Ship capacity is being pulled off the North Atlantic as several major lines serving Montreal combine forces.

Ship capacity is being pulled off the North Atlantic as several major lines serving Montreal combine forces.

Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL are to team up with Mediterranean Shipping Co through a four ship loop.

The three lines said that, from the end of this month, they will merge two strings in to a single service linking Montreal, Liverpool, Antwerp, Bremerhaven, and Le Havre.

MSC had been deploying three ships of around 3,000 teu on its Montreal Express 1 service, while the other two lines had been operating four vessels of similar size on their SLCS rotation. The three already had slot exchange agreements, but now will fully rationalise their offerings and remove ships.

The North Atlantic has not escaped the container shipping slump, with the European Liner Affairs Association reporting a 17% decline in westbound volumes and a 28% fall in eastbound traffic between North America and Europe in the first quarter.

In May, eastbound containerised cargo was down 38% to 197,200 teu compared with the year earlier figure, while westbound volumes were estimated at 234,800 teu.

Price data illustrates the extent of the slump, with the ELAA"s Europe-North Atlantic westbound index, based on 2008 average rates equalling 100, tumbling from 84 to 74 between January and April. The eastbound index weakened even further, dropping from 96 to 79.

Latest data from Piers Trade Horizons predicts that US imports from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be down 19.3% this year, the steepest fall of any trade route, while exports are expected to drop 21.5%. These figures do not include Canada but provide some insight into transatlantic trade conditions.

Ships deployed in future on the integrated service will be the OOCL Belgium, Mississauga Express, MSC Suez and MSC Jordan, all betwen 2,800 and 3,000 teu.

Meanwhile, Evergreen and Cosco Container Lines have announced a new joint service that will link Shanghai, Dalian, Xingang, Qingdao, Manila, Jakarta, Singapore, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang and back to Shanghai.

Four 2,100 teu vessels will be deployed, with Evergreen supplying one, and Cosco contributing three.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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