Maersk Line has announced improvements to its services between the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent to the US East Coast with the aim of enhancing the reliability of its services as well as offering new opportunities.
"As we move into 2009, we will continuously review our service network in the light of customer requirements to ensure that we provide a seamless global network with reliable and competitive services," the company said in a statement.
MECL service improvements include improved eastbound transit times by removing the Malaga call from MECL1, reversed Charleston (SC, US) and Norfolk (VA, US) calls on the MECL1 for faster transit time between Norfolk-Jebel Ali (UAE) and also fast eastbound service to Port Said (Egypt) on the MECL1.
Improvements also include direct Houston call on MECL2 resulting in improved transit times, direct Djibouti call on MECL2 eastbound voyage (alternate weeks) and connections via Algeciras (Spain) and Gioia Tauro (Italy) available for Mediterranean cargo.
MECL2 improvements also include fast and direct inbound service from Port Said direct call to Aqaba (Jordan) maintained on the MECL2 for time sensitive cargo to North America and market exclusive direct calls in Chennai (India) maintained on the MECL2.
All the improvements will take effect at different dates of this month.
Last month, Maersk Line also announced plans to lower bunker surcharges imposed earlier on cargo moving on its services from the east coast of South America to the Middle East, Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, effective January. In an advisory to the trade, it said the surcharges will be $450 (Dh1,653) per TEU and $900 per FEU, down from $600 and $1,200, respectively.
In a separate notice, the carrier announced plans to implement a similar reduction for the trade from Central America and the Caribbean to the Far East-Asia region, also effective January. The revised surcharges will be $135 per TEU and $270 per FEU, compared to $472 and $590 at present.