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Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM ‘temporarily’ steering 2 services away from Savannah

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Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM have announced two services are “temporarily” bypassing Savannah, Georgia. 

CMA CGM said that its Amerigo service, which connects the western Mediterranean to the U.S. East Coast, will “temporarily stop calling Savannah due to severe congestion in this port — eight to 10 days — and in order to protect schedule integrity and weekly sailing frequency.”

The service instead will call South Carolina’s Port of Charleston, beginning with the scheduled arrival of the CMA CGM La Traviata on Nov. 27. The La Traviata has capacity for 8,488 twenty-foot equivalent units. 

Jim Newsome, South Carolina Ports Authority president and CEO, said this week that the Port of Charleston has the bandwidth to handle more imports. 

“While the global supply chain remains under tremendous pressure, SC Ports is fortunate to have invested in the right infrastructure at the right time. We have the cargo capacity, berth availability and terminal fluidity that retailers need to quickly move their cargo as we head into the peak season,” Newsome said.

Hapag-Lloyd said its Atlantic Loop 3 service temporarily will bypass Savannah and instead call Jacksonville, Florida.

Savannah’s congestion also wasn’t cited in JAXPORT’s announcement, although it did say there were no container vessels waiting at anchorage outside the Florida port. 

JAXPORT is only 130 nautical miles south of the Port of Savannah, but the two operations are much farther apart in terms of size. The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 4.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2020. JAXPORT handled about 1.27 million TEUs during its 2020 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

JAXPORT is in the midst of a federal project to deepen the shipping channel to 47 feet and allow it to handle larger vessels. That work is expected to be completed next year.

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