NORASIA PULLS OUT OF TRANSATLANTIC
Norasia, the Swiss shipping line, is terminating its weekly Montreal/Northern Europe/Mediterranean container service.
The carrier will pull out of the Atlantic trade when it ends the seven-ship weekly service in early February.
A spokesman for Norasia Canada said that the service was unprofitable.
The ending of Norasia’s service is the latest carrier withdrawal in the transatlantic trade.
Norasia entered the transatlantic market two years ago, at a time when shipping lines started to report worsening results and fast-decreasing freight rates in this trade.
Polish Ocean Lines abandoned the Northern Europe/U.S. trade last year, while Croatia Line ended its Mediterranean/U.S. service. Sea-Land Service also withdrew from its joint Montreal/Northern Europe service with Maersk Line and P&O Nedlloyd.
The termination of Norasia’s service threw into disarray the plan of Hapag-Lloyd to introduce a direct service connecting Montreal to the Mediterranean into disarray.
Having concluded a space charter agreement with Norasia, Hapag-Lloyd announced last Friday the launch of its service, not knowing that Norasia would pull out of the trade.
A spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd said that the company was “very surprised” by Norasia’s decision.
Seven chartered containerships of about 1,000-TEU capacity were employed in the Norasia service, with a rotation of Montreal, Felixstowe, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Alexandria, Haifa, Izmir, Naples, Genoa, Southampton, Zeebrugge, Hamburg and Montreal.