Germany’s Port of Hamburg said it is not expecting a reduction in container throughput caused by liner service changes announced by Ocean Alliance and Maersk.

Starting from April 2020, the Ocean Alliance’s NEU 5 service handled by Eurogate Container Terminal Hamburg (CTH) is being transferred to Antwerp. This service will be run by the Ocean Alliance partner CMA CGM as FAL 3 with an approximate annual volume of 150,000 TEU.

Going forward, the entire container volume carried until now to and from Hamburg by this service will be handled by the five Ocean Alliance liner services continuing to call in Hamburg. These are the full-container services NEU 2, NEU 3, NEU 4, NEU 6 and NEU 7.

“In the course of optimizing annual planning, the resulting transfer of one of the six services creates no overall problem either for the shippers or the Port of Hamburg. The container cargo will continue to be handled in its entirety by these services in Hamburg,” Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, explained.

“In the shipping industry such liner service adjustments are absolutely normal when the shipping alliances develop new products and present no cause for concern. Hamburg is not losing any cargo because of it,” Mattern added.

CMA CGM, one of the biggest Port of Hamburg customers in container transport with a total of 15 full-container and feeder services, said that the container cargo handled until now by the abovementioned service in Hamburg will be distributed among the other five Asia-Europe services continuing to call Hamburg.

Furthermore, Danish shipping major Maersk has also reported a change to its sailing schedule. The ME 1 service that until now has weekly served India via Dubai and Saudi-Arabia with the German ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven will, as of February, temporarily not be calling Hamburg.

Container cargo previously carried on ME 1 will continue to be handled on Maersk’s AE 7 service to and from Hamburg.

“We assume that with Hamburg served by the AE 7 service, the majority of containers from the ME 1 service will continue to be handled in Hamburg after the fairway adjustment,” Ingo Egloff, who is Axel Mattern’s Joint CEO at Port of Hamburg Marketing, said.

“The 12 mega-containerships deployed in the AE 7 service with a capacity of between 16,500 and 19,500 TEU offer the necessary transport capacity,” he continued.

After suspending the ME 1 service, Maersk will be calling Hamburg with a total of five container liner services.

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