Maersk Line is restructuring its regional container shipping network that connects India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia to global markets. The changes are primarily aimed at improving transit times, offering a greater degree of predictability and offering more flexibility.
In future the ME4 service will offer a direct link between Doha and North Europe, improving speed to market by up to 5 days. There will also be a reduction of up to 6 days in transit times from Jebel Ali to West Africa for the majority of customers.
The ME3 service connecting fresh produce exporters from Pakistan to Russia will similarly see an improvement in transit times while the FI3 service will change from fortnightly to weekly, improving options for shippers moving cargo from the Far East into North India.
Maersk’s ME7 service will connect South India’s lifestyle, retail and automotive manufacturing sector directly to Europe and will also provide a direct and regular rotation between the hubs of Colombo and Salalah, letting customers have a more flexible option for moving their cargo.
A new FI4 service, which combines the previous Jade Express and Chennai Express operations, will connect South East Asia with India and Pakistan on a single direct service.
“Our customers deserve a predictable service that will allow them to plan their supply chains better,” commented Bhavan Vempati, Regional Head of Ocean Management, Maersk West & Central Asia. “With our redesigned ocean network, we are not only providing our customers with predictability and resilience, but also greater speed to market, allowing them optimise their inventories and operations to meet the surge in demand with a competitive edge.”
As part of the changes the ME6 service will be discontinued, as will transhipment on AE1 at Colombo. Alternative transhipment options will be provided, Maersk states.