SHIP ADDED TO SOUTH AFRICA/EUROPE LINK BECAUSE OF DELAYS
Blaming continuing delays suffered by vessels in South African ports, Safmarine has deployed an additional containership, the “S.A. Helderberg,” in its joint Southern Africa Europe Container Service. The 3,000-TEU ship will be the seventh vessel in the Southern Europe/Europe “SAECS core service” of Safmarine and its vessel-sharing partners Deutsche Afrika-Linien, Maersk Sealand and P&O Nedlloyd.
Port delays in South Africa have prevented carriers from maintaining a reliable weekly frequency with the six vessels that they employed until now, Safmarine said.
Ivan Heesom-Green, Safmarine’s South African Lines trade executive, said that the carriers would be able to operate a weekly service with only six ships “under internationally acceptable port productivity standards,” but current conditions are different.
Safmarine and Deutsche Afrika-Linien, Maersk Sealand and P&O Nedlloyd estimate that, collectively, they have spent about $10 million in addition to normal operating expenses to maintain schedule integrity for this service.
Safmarine said that it and other shipping lines of the Container Lines Operating Forum will continue to work with Portnet, South Africa’s port operator, to restore port productivity to acceptable standards.
The SAECS has a rotation of Le Havre, Rotterdam, Tilbury, Bremerhaven, Tenerife, Las Palmas, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town, Las Palmas and Le Havre.