APL is to launch in August a new weekly China Australia Service 6 (CA6) that will connect ports in central and southern China to the largest cities in eastern Australia. The first CA6 sailing is scheduled to depart on 17th August from Ningbo. The service will call at the ports of Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Designed to provide the industry’s fastest transit times, CA6 promises to deliver shipments from Yantian and Shanghai to Sydney in 11 and 14 days respectively. The CA6 will complement APL’s existing China Australia Service (CAS), China Australia Service 2 (CA2) and China Australia Service 3 (CA3) that provide weekly coverage between China and Australia. The company is also boosting its signature Eagle Express 1 (EX1) service with an enhanced offering that will cut westbound transit times as well as help meet the demands of delivering supplies to U.S troops overseas. In line with the service enhancement and upholding a longstanding tradition, APL is naming the six vessels deployed for the service after former US Presidents, namely President FD Roosevelt, President Wilson, President Cleveland, President Truman, President Eisenhower and President Kennedy, continuing a legacy that began in the 1920s that has seen some 90 APL ships named after US Presidents. Five of the six vessels are new to the EX1 service. Commencing from Qingdao on 20th July 2018, the enhanced EX1 service’s new port rotation will be: Qingdao-Shanghai-Busan-Los Angeles-Oakland-Yokohama-Naha-Busan-Qingdao.

CMA CGM is enhancing the ASAF service operated with a fleet of 12 vessels up to 8,750 TEU nominal capacity. Effective from the CMA CGM Bianca’s call in Qingdao on 7th July 2018, ASAF now has the modified port rotation of Busan-Tianjin/Xingang-Qingdao-Shanghai-Ningbo-Nansha-Tanjung Pelepas-Singapore-Cape Town-Pointe Noire-Kribi-Luanda-Cape Town-Port Kelang-Singapore-Busan. Transit times from Qingdao to West Africa will benefit from a shorter transit time of up to 7 days with Lagos, Nigeria from Qingdao being achieved in 41 days. Effective from the end of June 2018, the EURAF 4 service operated with a fleet of 9 vessels of up to 3,650 TEU capacity offers a faster direct link between Italy and West Africa. Starting with the calls of the 35,881gt/2006 built Leto, the port rotation will be Genoa-Livorno-Marseille-Barcelona-Valencia-Algeciras-Tangier-Dakar-Lome-Cotonou-Bata-Malabo-Kribi-Onne-Port Gentil-Libreville-Douala-Lome-Genoa. Via the Ocean Alliance, CMA CGM announced a reshuffle of its Asia-Middle East services on 5th July, to take effect in late July. The Ocean Alliance Day Two service will offer 4 routes in total between Far East and Middle East ports. The CIMEX 1 and CIMEX 3 will be merged into one loop covering most of the ports previously offered. The New CIMEX 1 rotation becomes: Tianjin-Busan-Qingdao-Shanghai-Shekou-Singapore-Sohar-Jebel Ali-Hamad-Dammam-Jubail-Singapore-Tianjin.

Jacques R. Saadé, founding president of the CMA CGM Group, passed away on 24th June at the age of 81.

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Containerships, a leader in intra-regional transportation in Northern Europe, is set to be acquired by CMA CGM, subject to approval by the relevant authorities. Founded in 1966, Containerships is an Intra-European Shortsea specialist with a strong presence in the Baltic market, Russia, Northern Europe, North Africa and Turkey. With a workforce of 560 people, Containerships offers its customers a complete range of services, as well as logistics solutions by ship, truck, rail and barges.  Containerships’ network will efficiently complement CMA CGM and its affiliate MacAndrews. The company will take delivery of four LNG-fuelled vessels between August 2018 and January 2019 and the acquisition of Containerships will further strengthen the development strategy of CMA CGM.

COSCO Shipping took delivery of the latest 21,237 TEU capacity ultra-large container ship on 12th June from the Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) in Shanghai. The 21,553gt/2018 built and 22 knot COSCO Shipping Universe is 400m long with a 58.6m beam. Her maximum cargo capacity is 198,000t and Jiangnan Shipyard will produce five more such container ships for COSCO Shipping for delivery by 2019. One day later the company took delivery of the 14,500 TEU capacity newbuild COSCO Shipping Denali. The naming and delivery ceremony for the 366m long and 51.20m beam ULCV was held at Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding. The 155,500dwt COSCO Shipping Denali is the company’s fourth 14,500 TEU containership that will serve the European route. Sister vessels from the “Mountain Class” series, namely COSCO Shipping Himalayas/ Kilimanjaro and COSCO Shipping Alps were handed over to the company in July and December 2017 and January 2018 respectively. By the end of 2018 COSCO Shipping will have received 11 23,137 TEU capacity “Universe Class” and 7 newbuilds from the 14,568 TEU capacity “Mountain Class” and 13,800 TEU capacity “Flower Class” series. COSCO also welcomed the COSCO Shipping Capricorn to the fleet at the Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS) shipyard in June. This is the third 20,000 TEU capacity, 400m long and 58.6m beam ship of this class and is now deployed on COSCO’s Mediterranean route in Europe.

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