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  4th May 2009 - STAR MARITIME

Cargo volumes seen picking up in H2

CMA CGM & ANL Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the top main-line operator at Westports Malaysia, sees cargo volumes picking up in the second half of the year.

“Actually some of our volumes are picking up and hope to see some signs of recovery as soon as this month, so it’s coming,” said managing director Simon Whitelaw in a statement.

According to Whitelaw, although the French liner experienced a small drop in the first quarter of this year, it saw an increase in local boxes compared with the corresponding period last year.

He sees a slight recovery in April, May and June and a further pick-up in volumes in the second half of the year.

While making improvements in its services from Asia to the Mediterranean (westbound), parent company CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company, will also introduce two new services, one of which is to Mozambique, Africa, starting from the middle of this month.

“We are looking at new services, especially to Africa which is doing very well.

“Additionally CMA CGM will offer upgraded service coverage to Western and Central Mediterranean from Asia.

“Starting from the middle of this month, CMA CGM will enter into a new vessel sharing agreement with Maersk, providing a vessel of 8,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) capacity.

“The new service will allow wider port coverage,” Whitelaw said.

Rotation of the new service will be as follows: Lian Yun Gang, Qingdao, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Jeddah, Port Said, Gioia Tauro, Genoa, Fos, Gioia Tauro, Damietta, Port Said, Salalah, Port Klang, Singapore, Lian Yun Gang.

The service will be operated with nine vessels of about 8,500 TEUs.

Whitelaw also pointed out that CMA CGM would revamp its PHEX/LEVEX service from Asia to the Adriatic.

The new service will focus on the Adriatic region with faster transit times to Trieste, Koper and Rijeka.

Rotation will be as follows: Shanghai, Busan, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Port Said, Damietta, Trieste, Koper, Rijeka (by feeder), Damietta, Port Said, Jeddah, Port Klang, Singapore, Shanghai.

This joint service will be operated with eight vessels of 6,500 TEUs.

“A new US East Coast, West Coast pendulum service commences in May, while a revised Black Sea service (BEX) also commences in May with direct calls at Westports and Tanjung Pelepas.

“So, despite the current economic situation, CMA CGM is planning and committed to the recovery expected in 2010,” Whitelaw said.


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