Strengthened East-West Network in 2019


There have been announcements this week of changes to services from Maersk and MSC Mediterranean Shipping.

A.P. Moller – Maersk announced changes to its services connecting Asia and Europe. With these changes Maersk further hopes to improve its schedule reliability, enabling more stable and reliable cargo deliveries.

The enhancements build on the Asia-Europe network changes in May 2018 which enabled Maersk to regain a market leading position on schedule reliability.

“To meet our customer’s increasing need for reliable cargo delivery, we have reviewed our service network and identified additional time to recover from the potential delays we continue to face from bad weather and other external factors. I am confident that these service changes will improve our overall schedule reliability, and I look forward to service our customers with this upgraded product,” says Johan Sigsgaard, Head of Europe Trade, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Operating the industry’s most comprehensive Asia-Europe Network, Maersk will enable extra operational buffer time from a net reduction of eight (8) port calls in the network. The reductions are achieved with minimal impact to product offerings – through combining duplicate calls and competitive transshipment options. This will result in significantly improved schedule reliability, enabled by slightly prolonged, yet competitive transit times.

Further, a total of six (6) extra vessels are added across the ten (10) service strings in the network, with weekly deployed capacity remaining unchanged due to slower vessel speeds.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company revised its ocean network to better serve shippers moving cargo between Asia and Europe.

“We can only assume that container terminal congestion at the main ports of the trade will continue to worsen, leading us to anticipate and incorporate longer time buffers in the schedule, in terms of port stays and speed at sea.”

MSC is therefore heavily investing in the East-West network to deliver provide the reliability customers need to plan and maintain their supply chain.

Specifically, MSC will phase in additional vessels to existing loops on the trade. Deploying these extra assets on their services underscores their commitment to operating a stable and ever-improving network within the existing constraints facing all carriers, such as congestion, bad weather and other unexpected disruptions.

“At MSC, we have the maritime expertise and assets to offer aworld-beating service and we trust that you will recognize the benefits of ournew approach and investments in the months and years to come.”

The implementation of the new network is planned for early March 2019 and remains subject to further updates.