MAERSK SEALAND PLANS REVAMPED, SEPARATE ATLANTIC LINK
Maersk Sealand will merge two transatlantic services into one when its Vessel Sharing Agreement with P&O Nedlloyd and OOCL expires in July.
The long-established VSA won’t be renewed after July and Maersk Sealand will no longer share space on the two weekly northern Europe/U.S. East and Gulf Coasts services with P&O Nedlloyd and OOCL, a senior executive of Maersk Sealand told American Shipper.
The Maersk Sealand/P&O Nedlloyd/OOCL vessel-sharing agreement’s North Atlantic service has operated four 1985-built “Econships” of 4,614-TEU
capacity, with a rotation of Boston, New York, Norfolk, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Boston, New York and Norfolk.
The VSA’s South Atlantic string uses another five big Econships with a rotation of Port Everglades, Houston, Jacksonville, Charleston, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Charleston, Port Everglades, Houston and
All the vessels in the two weekly Atlantic services are operated by Maersk Sealand, with other carriers taking space on them.
Maersk Sealand said that it would keep its Econships in the trade and operate them as part of a merged North Atlantic/South Atlantic/Gulf service. The rotation and the number of ships of this revamped service have not been
finalized, but the frequency will remain weekly, the carrier said.
Maersk Sealand will continue to operate its separate Europe/U.S. East Coast/U.S. West Coast/Asia “TA3” pendulum weekly service, which employs 11 ships of 3,928-TEU, on which P&O Nedlloyd and OOCL have also been taking space.
Maersk Sealand’s announcement that it will maintain the vessel-sharing agreement’s vessels in the Atlantic after the split with its partners raises
questions about the risks of overtonnaging in the trade.
Meanwhile, P&O Nedlloyd, OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, Lykes and other carriers are negotiating the potential merger of their transatlantic services after July.