Tilbury loses out to London Gateway

  • Hamburg Sud and Hapag-Lloyd are switching three services from Tilsbury Port to the London Gateway

German carriers Hamburg Sud and Hapag-Lloyd have announced they will be transferring three jointly operated services from Tilbury ports to the London Gateway in the coming months.

The decision was made last week with the German Carriers stating “plans for future growth” as the main reason for making the shift.

The three services that are shifting to the London Gateway are the SAEC-1/BPX (Brazil-River Plate Service) which is operated by seven ‘SANTA’ class ships of 7,100 TEU, the SW1 (Europe-WCSA service) using eight ships of 3,600-4,200 TEU, and the Indian Ocean Service using eight ships of 5,500-6,600 TEU. The move is expected to be completed by May 2014.

The move to UK’s newest dock follows the German Carrier’s plans to introduce 9,500 TEU carriers into their operations. Due to port restrictions, Tilbury port can only handle carriers up to 7,100 TEU.

In regards to the change-over, a spokesman for Forth Ports, who own Tilbury docks, told the Southend Standard that they were “disappointed” but understanding of the German carrier’s decision to move to the newer terminal.

“We worked hard with them to retain these services at London Container Terminal but we understand their decision was driven by their need to utilise larger vessels.”

“Both Tilbury and LCT have a number of strengths in particular in the short-sea European and African market as well as feeder and niche markets.” We will focus our efforts on a number of opportunities we are pursuing in these growing markets.”

This move follow decisions by Maersk line, Safmarine, Mitsui OSK lines and Deustche Africa to move their Southern Africa Europe container services from Tilbury to London Gateway in November 2013, alongside Tilbury losing its CMA CGM shortsea arm MacAndrews to London Gateway neighbour Thamesport.

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