As previously communicated, in addition to the 9th vessel already added to the SAECS service, Maersk will be making some temporary deployment changes to their SAECS service from May 2020. The changes, according to them, are required in order to provide a stable, weekly product from South Africa to Europe. This would help in addressing some of the supply chain challenges that arise from delays and operational challenges currently within their terminals as well as cater for the increased demand driven by a strong fruit season for 2020.
The Port Elizabeth northbound call will be removed from the SAECS service and will be covered by the WAF1 service, which will call Algeciras directly from Port Elizabeth.
All cargo destined for the Mediterranean as well as all ports covered today by transhipment in Algeciras to other areas in Europe, will be shipped directly to Algeciras on the WAF1 service from Port Elizabeth to meet the respective feeder services as is the case today on SAECS.
All cargo destined for North Europe ex Port Elizabeth, will be loaded on-board the WAF1 service to Algeciras and loaded on-board the same SAECS vessel that week for on-carriage to Northern Europe with minimal impact to transit time.
According to Maersk, the deployment changes will provide the following benefits:
- Without Port Elizabeth on the SAECS rotation but still deploying the same number of vessels, it is expected that it will then have sufficient buffer to handle for the extra waiting time in Durban and Cape Town and thus reduce any omissions or serious delays in those ports.
- With a direct sailing from Port Elizabeth to Algeciras, the transit time will be much faster into the Mediterranean. Cargo to North Europe will tranship in Algeciras with minimal impact to transit time.
- Algeciras will not be omitted on this new service as it’s the last port of call before returning Southbound and thus will be reliable.
The changes will be effective from the Santa Rita 202B ex Port Elizabeth as follows:
- The Santa Rita 202B, ETA Port Elizabeth 24 May, will omit Port Elizabeth northbound and proceed directly to Cape Town.
- All exports ex Port Elizabeth to North Europe for that week, will be loaded on the Kmarin Aqua 022N, ETA Port Elizabeth 24 May, discharged in Algeciras on 12 June and loaded onboard the Santa Rita 202B for oncariage to North Europe.
- All exports ex Port Elizabeth to the Mediterranean as well as all ports covered today by transhipment in Algeciras to other areas in Europe, will be loaded on the Kmarin Aqua 022N, discharged in Algeciras on 12 June, and loaded on the respective feeder services to final destination as is the case today.
The full rotation of both services can be seen on the service map – SAECS Northbound.