APL, as part of the Ocean Alliance, started April with the first sailings of the Pacific Gulf Loop 6 (PG6) service bound for Houston from Singapore, and the Far-East Express 1 (FX1) service heading for Southampton from Xingang. Offering 38 services for the Ocean Alliance, APL is primed to offer its widest market coverage ever.

Bermuda Container Line (BCL) has signed a contract to order a new, custom built and LNG ready container vessel to service Bermuda. The new ship is scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2019, at which time BCL’s current container vessel, the 6,299gt/1990 built Oleander, will be retired. BCL said that the new containership will be the most technologically-advanced vessel serving Bermuda and will be outfitted to carry dry and refrigerated containers, trucks, cars and other wheeled equipment, along with over-sized project cargo. She will also be equipped with fuel-efficient main and auxiliary engines as well as leading-edge loading and cargo carrying capability.

BG Freight Line of Rotterdam, a short sea shipping firm which is part of the Peel Ports Group, launched a new weekly container service to directly connect Cork and Liverpool from 27th March. The weekly schedule of the new service will be Liverpool (Saturday), Cork (Monday), Liverpool (Wednesday). At the end of each week, the vessel will continue to offer services between Belfast, Greenock and Liverpool. The route will initially be served by the 2,899gt/1995 built ships Thea II and RMS Veritas, however, from 2018 BG Freight will take delivery of four short-sea feeder vessels designed for the company’s Irish Sea Hub services.

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Claus-Peter Offen of Hamburg has taken over the Munich-based Conti Group following a shareholders agreement of the two companies. According to the terms of the deal, Offen is taking over 100% of the corporate shares of the Conti Group and the qualified majority of shares in the Bremer Bereederungsgesellschaft BBG. After the takeover, the Conti Group will continue as an independent company. With the addition of Conti Group’s 68 ships and BBG’s managed fleet, the Offen Group will have a fleet of 169 ships: 95 container ships with 631,000 TEU/ 7.8 million dwt, 37 bulkers with 3.0 million dwt and 37 product tankers with 1.8 dwt. The Conti Group has a fleet of 30 containerships, 8 product tankers and 29 bulk carriers, while BBG is in charge of the technical management of 35 bulk carriers including the aforementioned 29 Conti vessels. Germany’s Offen Group operates around 70 containerships with a total of 417,000 TEU capacity. The company’s ships are employed primarily in scheduled services by the large charter companies such as MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd and Hamburg Süd.

CMA CGM suffered a $325m net loss in 2016 in contrast to a $567m profit in 2015. The loss made including the contribution of NOL, which the company acquired in June 2016, was equal to $452m. While the company’s revenue was up 1.9% year-on-year to $16bn including NOL’s contribution, it was down 14.7% to $13.4bn on a comparable basis. Following the acquisition of NOL, which operates under the APL brand, the group’s volumes rose by 20% year-on-year to 15.6m TEU in 2016, despite being down 1.3% to 12.8m TEU on a comparable basis.

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