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Maersk shipping line take-over makes Hamburg Sud drop VSA, rejig Americas loops

SDI Logistics Co.,Ltd | Updated: Feb 02, 2018

HAMBURG SUD has withdrawn from a Asia-west coast South America (WCSA) trade vessel-sharing agreement (VSA) with Mediterranean Shipping Co, CMA CGM, Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd and Hyundai Merchant Marine to meet a regulatory requirement imposed after it was bought by Maersk.

Having complied with the conditions set by China’s Ministry of Commerce and Korean regulators, Hamburg Sud announced new services on the route that will be launched in April, reports IHS Media.

The new Asia-WCSA, between Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean will replace the VSA while retaining the service names ASPA and ASCA. The VSA continues until it expires at the end of 2018.

A total of 39 vessels with a slot capacity of 4,500 to 10,000 TEU will be deployed on the four new ASPA and ASCA service strings, calling at almost 30 ports with several weekly sailings. 

In Asia, the services will call at ports in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore; and in Latin America, coverage will be Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

Hamburg Sud sees no increase in capacity in the restructuring, and also said its collaboration with Maersk would enable it to respond to market changes and better handle spikes in demand.

Hamburg Sud chief commercial officier Frank Smet said the new services provided competitive transit times and connectivity, along with additional direct connections, higher sailing frequencies and greater flexibility.

Alphaliner said the other carriers on the three-loop VSA were also expected to revise their existing Asia-WCSA service offerings together with Ocean Network Express (ONE), the joint venture of "K" Line, MOL, and NYK that will start operations on April 1. The three Japanese carriers currently operate a separate service (ALX) using 11 ships of 6,300 to 7,200 TEU.