MAERSK LINE adds capacity, tightens its focus on India, MECL1

By Curious

Maersk Line is going to increase capacity on its India-Middle East-USEC (MECL 1) service, that is going to replace seven 4,800-TEU Panama-beamed vessels with eight 6,478-TEU vessels that fit the expanding canal.
The slow-steaming service is going to turn in 8 weeks instead of 7, with an addition call at Algeciras in the both directions.
The new rotation of the Maersk's service is Nhava Sheva, Salalah, Algeciras (new call), New York, Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk, New York, Algeciras (new call), Jebel Ali, Port Qasim, Pipavav and back to Nhava Sheva.
The new 6,478 TEU vessels will be renamed and re-flagged to the U.S. flag as the MECL 1 is a U.S.-flag service that allow it to carry certain specific government cargo. These vessels are currently plying Maersk's Far East-WCSA "AC-3" service where are expected to be replaced by vessels of comparable size, including vessels currently idle.
Meanwhile, the Maersk Line is upsizing its Far East-Lower Red Sea service (Horn of Africa service) with the progressive replacement of the six 2,274-TEU vessels by chartered units in the range of 3,500-TEU. The Horn of Africa service calls at Tanjung Pelepas, Jebel Ali, Djibouti, Jeddah, Port Sudan, Djibouti, Tanjung Pelepas. This service was organised in July 2010. The 2,274-TEU vessels are displaced to regional loops, which include 3 of them joining the Inner Med service.
In another move, Maersk Line has organised a container service connecting directly the Morocco and Tunisian markets, with calls at Casablanca, Sfax and Tunis. Sailings are offered every two weeks with the 1,837-TEU Uranus.