MAERSK SEALAND SWITCHES U.S.-FLAG SHIPS TO MED/U.S. SERVICE
Maersk Sealand confirmed that it is switching to the Mediterranean/U.S. trade several large U.S.-flag containerships that have been used in the northern Europe/U.S. vessel-sharing agreement of Maersk Sealand, P&O Nedlloyd and OOCL.
''''The 4,614-TEU 'Econships' are owned by Maersk Sealand.
''''John Boudreau, director, Atlantic services at Maersk Sealand, said that several U.S.-flag ships will now be deployed in the carrier’s Med/U.S. Gulf and East Coast service. The weekly service will continue to use six containerships, but Boudreau said that the number of U.S.-flag vessels to be used in this loop has not been finalized.
''''During an interim period, the service will drop weekly calls at Valencia, Spain.
''''CMA CGM will continue to have space on the Med/U.S. Gulf and East Coast loop.
''''Three Econships were freed up by Maersk Sealand’s decision to merge the former four-ship U.S. North Atlantic/northern Europe vessel-sharing agreement loop and the VSA's former five-vessel U.S. South Atlantic/northern Europe service.
''''Maersk Sealand expects to add another U.S./northern Europe service in October, when its new transatlantic cooperative agreement with New World Alliance carriers APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is implemented.
''''The merged U.S. North Atlantic/South Atlantic/Gulf/northern Europe service of the Maersk Sealand will continue to call at Boston, contrary to press reports, Boudreau said. It will use six Econships. This service is likely to be changed in the next few months, the carrier said.
''''In a separate development, Maersk Sealand confirmed that P&O Nedlloyd will stop taking space on two U.S./Mediterranean services operated by the Danish carrier, following the just-announced vessel-sharing pact between P&O Nedlloyd, its sister company Farrell Lines and Hapag-Lloyd. P&O Nedlloyd had space on the Med/U.S. Gulf and East Coast loop and the Suez Express service of Maersk Sealand.