China Ocean Shipping Co (Cosco) has confirmed that it is withdrawing from direct services between north Europe and the Indian sub-continent as a vessel-provider. The decision was taken a little under a year after it entered into a vessel-sharing agreement with K Line, Evergreen and MISC.
A manager at the company said the trade was overtonnaged and rates and volumes have not been enough to justify remaining in the trade. The break up of the grouping had been expected for months as the container market continued its downward spiral.
As a result, Cosco’s existing three vesselsharing partners will pool their volumes over a new combined service that will also include Yangming, Shipping Corporation of India and Zim Israel. The latter three already have their own service. The six lines will operate seven ships, each around 2,400 teu capacity from early next year, and Cosco will be offered slot allocations.
Ports of call on the service are expected to include Felixstowe, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Port Said, Colombo and Nhava Sheva.