Cosco Shipping Lines, CMA CGM, Evergreen Line and OOCL have launched their Ocean Alliance Day 3 Product at the beginning of April 2019. The product is the third phase of the new service offering from Ocean Alliance and will bring the largest service offer on the Transpacific trade with 19 services. Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) Zeebrugge is involved in two out of seven Asia – Europe services, the NEU1 and the NEU3. First vessel called CSP Zeebrugge on May 11 and this was celebrated on the terminal with a grand customer event. Ambition of the terminal is to become a hub and hinterland gateway, so together with the new deep-sea services, several hinterland connections will start up in the next period.

COSCO Shipping Ports Zeebrugge celebrates launch of Ocean Alliance Day 3 Product and first call of NEU1
Caption: Containership CSCL Arctic Ocean - Image courtesy of Helmut Klammer

CSP Zeebrugge is a common user terminal, open for all shipping companies. However, in the next period, there will be much focus on the shipping companies of Ocean Alliance. This partnership between CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, OOCL and EVERGREEN LINE was launched in 2017. It is currently the world’s largest operational agreement between shipping companies.

Ocean Alliance began operations of its Day 2 product in April 2018 with an estimated carrying capacity of 3.6 million TEUs. Under the new launched Day 3 Product, the companies will operate around 330 container ships in a total of 38 services, as well as an estimated carrying capacity of around 3.8 million TEUs. The evolution of the product is the largest service offer on the Transpacific trade with 19 services.

The two Asia services that will call Zeebrugge from the weekend of May 11 onwards, are the NEU1 and the NEU3.

The NEU3 service is a prolongation of the existing service in Day 2. The NEU1 service is a completely new service for CSP Zeebrugge and is the biggest service of Ocean Alliance with 5 vessels from COSCO SHIPPING LINES with a capacity of 18.980 TEU and 6 vessels from OOCL with a capacity of 21.413 TEU, at this moment the biggest container vessels in the world. CSP Zeebrugge is the first discharge port in Europe, after Felixstowe. Other European ports in that loop are Gdansk, Wilhelmshafen and Piraeus. The first vessel that called CSP Zeebrugge in that rotation is the ‘CSCL Arctic Ocean’.

For the function of CSP Zeebrugge as transshipment hub, three new services have already been confirmed. Zeebrugge has been added as transshipment hub in the RFS service and connects with that goal to the NEU1. The rotation of that service is Zeebrugge-St. Petersburg-Rotterdam- Zeebrugge. The second feeder service that is confirmed is the BGX service from X-Press Line and this service connects Bilbao and Gijon via Zeebrugge to the NEU3. The third feeder service that has been confirmed is the INX1, that connects CSP Zeebrugge with Ireland - Dublin.

It’s also the ambition of CSP Zeebrugge to strengthen her position as hinterland gateway by serving her core hinterland with reliable transport corridors. When the first vessels from the new Day 3 Service call Zeebrugge, several hinterland services will be strengthened or start up.

For interportuary shunting with the ports of Antwerp and Ghent, CSP Zeebrugge will further strengthen her estuary services with operator Port Connect.

To service Germany, a weekly rail service (Ruhr area) will start to Duisburg from May 11 with intermodal operator Duisport Agency. To service the main hinterland of France, CSP Zeebrugge will connect through rail with Dourges-Lille Container Terminal.

From June and July onwards, CSP Zeebugge will also connect with her core hinterland in Kortrijk area. In June a weekly rail service will start with Rekkem (LAR), and in July a weekly barge connection will be established with River Terminal Wielsbeke.

To emphasize the intermodal ambitions from the terminal to connect with the hinterland, invitees to the customer event had the opportunity to come by CSP Zeebrugge Express, a rail shuttle from Antwerp-Berchem Station, powered by rail operator Lineas.

Managing Director Carla Debart: “These new services will mark a new era for CSP Zeebrugge. We have the ambition to become a hub and gateway and we are developing a lean and mean fore- and hinterland network to cater the European continent.”

Source: Port of Zeebrugge (Additional information about the Port of Zeebrugge at CruiseMapper)