China Shipping Container Line and Zim Israel are close to signing a new slot swap agreement for the Atlantic trade – a move that will allow CSCL to end its Mediterranean/ America shuttle service, and continue to serve the trade through taking slots on one of two Zim Israel services on the same route.
CSCL dropped Savannah from the existing schedule in January and will now only serve New York and Norfolk on the service during the first quarter 2002. Mediterranean ports will remain Gioia Tauro, Naples, Livorno, Genoa, Barcelona and Valencia.
From the second quarter, CSCL is set to significantly extend its US east coast coverage by taking slots on a Zim service, probably the Zim Med America Service, which also includes P&O Nedlloyd and Hapag- Lloyd. The ports covered on the service are: Malta, Salerno, Genoa, Fos, Barcelona, Lisbon, New York, Savannah, Miami, Houston, Savannah, Lisbon and Malta.
The net effect in capacity terms will be a reduction of four 2,000 teu ships, presently chartered by CSCL, operating on what CSCL sources concede is presently a lossmaking route ‘if you operate your vessels without partners’.