A half dozen container shipping lines say they will restructure their services between the Far East and South America east coast.
The Chilean carrier CSAV said the changes are being made “in view of continuous challenging trading conditions” in the trade.
It said that effective from July, CSAV, China Shipping, CMA CGM, Hamburg Süd, Hanjin and Maersk Line will restructure their services between the Far East and South America East Coast by launching three new joint services to replace four existing services. In addition, they said CCNI and Hapag-Lloyd will participate in the services.
The new services are the ASAX 1, 2, and 3:
- ASAX 1 will operate with 11 8,000-TEU vessels, with the following rotation of Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Sepetiba, Santos, Itapoa, Itajai, Paranagua, Santos (EB), Sepetiba (EB), Coega, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Busan.
- ASAX 2 will operate with 12 8,000-TEU vessels with the following rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Singapore, Port Kelang, Santos, Paranagua, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Itapoa, Santos, Durban, Port Kelang, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
- ASAX 3 will operate with 10 8,000-TEU vessels with the following rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Chiwan, Singapore, Santos, Itapoa, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
CSAV said “the new services allow for a more cost efficient and flexible network adjusted to the current trading environment and reflects current market demand in the Far East to east coast South America trade.” It said the new services will result in full coverage of the markets handled by the existing services; improved transit times in a number of corridors; three weekly departures from Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong and Singapore to Santos and Itapoa; and improved coverage from South America’s east coast to South Africa with two weekly departures and direct coverage from River Plate to South Africa.
The four services being replaced are:
- ASAX 1/SEAS 1, currently operated by CSAV, CMA-CGM and China Shipping.
- ASAX 2/ASAS 2/NGX 2/SEAS 2, currently operated by CSAV, CMA-CGM, China Shipping,Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line.
- ASAS 1/NGX 1, currently operated by Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line.
- ALX/ASE, formerly operated by Hanjin, CCNI, Hapag-Lloyd and Zim lines.
Spot rates in the Asia to East Coast trade have fallen 40 percent since the first of the year, Lars Jensen, chief executive officer of SeaIntel said last week. Despite that, carriers were expected to increase capacity another 20 percent in May and June.
“That’s an increase in capacity that we certainly don’t see being matched by an increase in demand,” he said.
“On the surface, that doesn’t add up,” Jensen added. “We see it’s partly a matter of restructuring services but also cascading of larger vessels into the trade as carriers are looking to transfer out vessels from the troublesome Asia-Europe trade as well as the transpacific. Upgrading to the 7,000- to 9,000-TEU range seems to be all the rage.”
In April, CSAV ordered seven 9,300-TEU ships from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea that will be delivered from the end of 2014.
In a press release issued today, Hamburg Süd said six 9,600-TEU “Cap San” vessels ordered in early 2011 will be delivered in 2013/2014 and “all of these outsized ships are to be deployed on the trade lanes between Asia and South America as well as between Europe and South America.”
It also noted this year it will take delivery of four 3,800-TEU newbuildings that are to be deployed in Aliança’s Brazilian cabotage service. – Chris Dupin