American Shipper

Maersk reduces capacity between Europe/Med and East Coast South America

Liner giant said last month it cut capacity 10 percent in response to reduced European demand.

   Ocean carrier Maersk Line said it has reduced capacity on its Bossa Nova service, which operates between the east coast of South America, European ports on the Mediterranean and Africa.
   The Danish carrier said “weakening demand has led to substantial open capacity and resulted in a need to adjust our network to match the changing market forces.”
   Starting on Jan. 5 “capacity and reefer plugs were adjusted to more accurately match market demands,” Maersk said.
   The company said it will put smaller ships with capacity of between 4,500 and 6,500 TEUs into the string, replacing ships that have a capacity of about 9,000 TEUs.
   According to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting, the service is operated in a vessel sharing agreement with Maersk’s 2M VSA partner Mediterranean Shipping Co., which calls the loop Mediterranean/South America East Coast.
   The service previously operated with six MSC ships with an average capacity of 8,373 TEUs, but Maersk’s two 4,258-TEU vessels – the Laura Maersk deployed Jan. 22 and the Luna Maersk from Feb. 13 – will drop average capacity to 6,977 TEUs, a decrease of nearly 17 percent. Maersk subsidiary Safmarine and Ocean Three VSA member UASC also take slots on the loop, which has a full rotation of Valencia, Tangiers, Salvador, Porto Itapoa, Paranagua, Itajai, Navegantes, Santos, Las Palmas, Algeciras and back to Tangiers.
   Maersk currently only offers one other service between Europe and the Mediterranean and East Coast South America with its own vessels, its Samba loop. MSC takes slots on the service, which operates with eight Maersk vessels with an average capacity of 7,975 TEUs and 1,700 reefer plugs, along with subsidiary line Safmarine, CKYHE Alliance members COSCO and Hanjin Shipping, as well as Alianca and its parent line Hamburg Sud. The Samba has a port rotation of Rotterdam, Tilbury, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Algeciras, Santos, Paranagua, Itajai, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Santos, Pecem, Algeciras, and Rotterdam.
   The carrier also purchases space on three additional services in the trade: MSC’s North Europe-east coast of South America SAEC1 loop, which operates with seven vessels averaging 5,701 TEUs; Hamburg Sud’s 9,669-TEU average River Plate service between North Europe and the east coast of South America; and the joint Mediterranean-ECSA MESA from MSC, Hamburg Sud and Alianca, which uses six MSC ships and one each from Hamburg Sud and Alianca with an average capacity of 5,697 TEUs. A wide range of other carriers take slots on the three services, including Ocean Three VSA member CMA CGM and its subsidiaries ANL and Delmas, Hapag-Lloyd and recent merger partner CSAV and subsidiary line Libra-Montemar, Israeli carrier ZIM, and Niver Lines of Greece.
   Maersk said the change to the Bossa Nova service “will provide a more efficient operation in line with today’s market demand.”