Maersk to send 5 ice-class 2,500-TEU ships on Ecubex service

Time:2009-12-15 Browse:56 Author:RISINGSUN

DENMARK`s Maersk Line is expected to deploy for the first time five ice-strengthened ships of 2,500 TEU, the largest ships with an ice class 1A notation, on its Europe-West Coast of South America `Ecubex` service to offer a regular Baltic connection.
The service will call at two terminals at St Petersburg, to enable shipments of bananas from Ecuador to arrive directly in Russia without transshipment. A move that requires a sixth week to be added to the port rotation, reports AXS-Alphaliner.
These five vessels are part of a series of six newbuildings built by Hyundai Heavy Industries that have been fitted with 600 reefer plugs and chartered from Delphis NV. The last vessel in the series is scheduled to be delivered in April 2010.
The report said that the sixth ship currently plying the service, the Nedlloyd Marita, is not ice-strengthened and thus cannot proceed to the upper Baltic during winter.
The service will also be partly used for feeder connections covering the route: Bremerhaven, St Petersburg and Bremerhaven. This means the current loop will most likely be expanded to provide a Bremerhaven, Gdansk, St Petersburg, Gdansk, Bremerhaven feeder string.
It added that Gdansk "will soon qualify as a local hub as it is to handle a direct Far East-Europe loop."