ARKAS line of Turkey sent the 178m long, 17,687gt/2009 built Wanda a to the Port of Hamburg on 20th April having been deployed on the West Africa Express Service (WAX) operated by ARKAS and Hapag-Lloyd. Demand is such that ARKAS has now deployed one of its own ships on to the line. The weekly service operates from Hamburg via Algeciras, Dakar, Lagos/Apapa, Tincan Island, Tema, Abidjan and Tangiers, then back via Antwerp to Hamburg. Hapag-Lloyd deploys five 1,700 TEU vessels in the service.
CMA CGM, COSCO Container lines, Evergreen line and orient overseas Container line have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a new alliance covering the Asia- Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Asia-Red Sea, Asia-Middle East, transpacific, Asia-North America East Coast, and transatlantic trades. The ocean alliance, as the new partnership is called, has more than 350 containerships. Subject to regulatory approvals of competent authorities, the new alliance plans to begin operations in April 2017. The initial period of the alliance shall be five years. This pact is regarded as a milestone agreement among some of the world’s leading container shipping lines that includes three of the current top six. The huge new partnership, which will have consequences for the entire container shipping industry, had been widely anticipated. Initially the deployment will cover more than 40 services globally, mostly connected with Asia, including about 20 services each in the US and Europe-related trades, the quartet said. Cosco and Evergreen are currently both members of the CKYHE alliance, alongside K Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin Shipping. The French operator also commenced a new Feeder service on the West Africa trade services from 8th May. West Feeder 2 commenced at Pointe Noire using on 618 TEU ship. On a fortnightly basis, the service will have the following rotation: Pointe Noire-Librevilledouala- Pointe Noire. CMA CGM has also confirmed that it will delay the introduction of 18,000 TEU ships in a service between Asia and the US west coast. The line had planned to upgrade its Pearl River Express from the end of May 2016 after trials involving the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin visiting several US Pacific coast ports to make sure they could handle ultra large containerships, but has since reversed that decision. The current transpacific market situation sealed the decision. The Pearl River Express will now continue to be operated with the 11,000 TEU class vessels. The EU approved CMA CGM’s acquisition of Nol at the end of April.
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