Maersk Line and MSC’s shipping alliance ‘2M’ and the ‘O3’ alliance, composed of CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Company, have chosen Malta Freeport Terminals as their main transhipment hub in the Central Mediterranean.
The new alliances have strengthened Malta Freeport Terminals’ accessibility and the Freeport is now offering its clients a total of 17 weekly mainline services.
A total of 128 ports globally can now be reached from Malta Freeport Terminals, according to Hellenic Shipping News.
MSC Capella was the first vessel to call at Malta Freeport Terminals on the commencement of services by the 2M Alliance recently. The first two containerships of the O3 alliance, which called simultaneously at Malta Freeport last week were Xin Qin Huang Dao and the CMA CGM Butterfly.
Alex Montebello, CEO of Malta Freeport Terminals, said: “It is now imperative that everyone at Malta Freeport works as a team to ensure that the high level of service expected by these key players within the container industry is effectively met.”
Josh Turner, a Maersk Line spokesperson, said: “Malta Freeport occupies an important position for both deep-sea and feeder services. By calling in Malta, we are giving our customers greater flexibility and reliability in getting their cargo to its destination, whether that’s in Europe or the Far East.
“Our East-West Network gives our customers a reliable, fast and efficient service, linking North America, Europe and the Far East with more sailings than before and some of the fastest transit times in the market. When building the network, we wanted to make sure that our customers could get their cargo from A to B using the services and ports that suit them. Malta Freeport fulfils that requirement, whilst its capabilities and services are suited to handling modern container vessels.”
Neil Davidson, Senior Analyst of Ports and Terminals at Drewry, said: “The decision by the 2M alliance to make use of Malta Freeport is an interesting one, given that the terminal is 50% owned by CMA CGM (Terminal Link) of the rival O3 alliance. However, it shows that when it comes to choice of ports, shipping lines and alliances consider factors such as price, location, capacity and service levels first, rather than ownership. It also shows that CMA CGM and its JV partner Yildirim Group is keen to run Malta Freeport as a multi-user facility.
“It should also be remembered that the 2M alliance is going to be using other Central Med hubs such as Gioia Tauro and Piraeus quite extensively, so Malta is not its only Central Med transhipment option.”
Maersk Line is currently the largest containership operator in the world, operating a fleet of around 607 vessels with a capacity of over 2.97 million TEU.
(Source: Emerson Process)