CHENNAI : Global shipping line Maersk has redesigned its ocean network to introduce a new direct ocean service from Chennai to Europe and the Mediterranean to help retail and lifestyle customers in South India on its end-to-end logistics solutions. This is part of the line redesigning the ocean network in West & Central Asia that connects countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia to the world. This will be implemented in a phased manner starting from August, said a company official.
The ME7 service will connect South India’s lifestyle, retail and automotive manufacturing sector directly to Europe. The cargo will thus flow smoothly without getting affected by unforeseen delays in case of congestions. It will also provide a direct and regular rotation between the hubs of Colombo and Salalah, thus letting customers have a more flexible option of moving their cargo.
To benefit retail, lifestyle customers in South India on its end-to-end logistics solutions
The port rotation will be in the order of Chennai (Adani container terminal at Kamarajar port in Ennore), Colombo, Salalah, Jeddah, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Felixstowe and Algeciras (Spain) and the reverse while returning . It will take 33 days to reach Algeciras from Chennai.
At present, most of the containers from Chennai are sent by feeder (smaller) ships to transhipment ports of Colombo or Singapore to connect mother (large) vessels there. Getting slots in the ship at the transhipment ports was also a major problem leading to containers getting stranded there for many days. However, the direct service will ensure enough slots for the trade, and will improve the timing by 1-9 days from Chennai to various destinations, the official said.
The changes in the network are primarily aimed at improving speed to market, providing higher predictability and offering more flexibility to customers’ supply chains. Further, redesigning the network will also bring more resilience to the customers’ supply chains, protecting them better from operational challenges that arise out of contingencies.
“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chains have experienced a perfect storm. The unprecedented scale of operational challenges restricting supply during the pandemic and the strong demand surge in parallel led to significant bottlenecks, capacity issues and unforeseen delays across supply chains. This prompted us to redesign our ocean network to overcome these challenges and make our customers’ supply chains more resilient,” the shipping line said in a trade notice.
The shipping line also said that the FI3 service will change from fortnightly to weekly giving frequent options for importers getting cargo from Far East into North India. Also, the new FI4 service that combines previous Jade Express and Chennai Express, will connect Southeast Asia with India and Pakistan on a single direct service.
As a part of redesigning of the network, the ME6 service as well as transhipment on AE1 at Colombo will be discontinued. Customers will continue to have the option to connect their cargo on a full array of services calling West & Central Asia. The network changes will be implemented in a phased manner and will not affect the total deployed capacity in the global network, the line said.
Source : The Hindu Business Line