Zim to take slots on 2M Alliance's 2nd Asia-US service along Gulf of Mexico

2M Alliance members Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company are launching a second service from Asia to the US via the Gulf of Mexico

07 July 2019 - 19:00

2M Alliance members Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company are launching a second service from Asia to the US via the Gulf of Mexico. The first sailing will depart from Xiamen on August 16.

Israeli shipping line ZIM will take slots on both services, having entered into several cooperative agreements with the 2M space-sharing alliance over the past year, reported American Shipper.

The additional service is branded TP88 by Maersk, the Pelican service by MSC, and the Zim US Gulf South China Xpress (ZGX). The service will deploy ten 4,500-TEU containerships. The port rotation is: Xiamen, Yantian, Busan (Panama Canal transit), Houston, Mobile, Tampa, Manzanillo, (Panama Canal transit), Balboa, returning to Busan.

According to MSC, the new service will offer a 'faster transit from South China and Korea into Houston and Mobile. The service will furthermore provide a direct service into Tampa.'

MSC pointed out that the second string means South China and North China will be served by separate 2M services to the US Gulf.

Maersk said volumes at Gulf ports have been quick to rise, adding that 'the decision has been made to keep serving our customers' needs and supply chain demands at a time when the Panama Canal draft restrictions reduce the capacity on the existing loops'.

The 2M's existing service to the Gulf, called the TP 18 by Maersk and the Lone Star Express by MSC, will be joined by ZIM with the August 18 sailing from Ningbo. ZIM will brand the string the ZIM US Gulf Central China Xpress (ZGC).

It is operated by ten 6,500 TEU vessels on the following rotation: Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan (Panama Canal transit), Houston, Mobile, Miami, Freeport, (Panama Canal transit), Araijan, Busan.

Maersk said: 'By adding Miami to the US Gulf network, we will enable our customers' continued growth to both the US east coast and US Gulf.'

MSC said: 'The Miami call on our Emerald service shall be removed as a result of the added Miami call on the Lone Star Express service.'

ZIM chief executive officer Eli Glickman highlighted: 'This is the third phase of our tightening cooperation with the 2M Alliance, now extending to four major trades.'

ZIM has been cooperating with the 2M in the Asia-US east coast trade since September and on the Asia-Pacific northwest and the Asia-Mediterranean trades since March.

The expanded cooperation between ZIM, Maersk and MSC comes days after Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), which also shares space on some 2M strings, announced that it will become a member of THE Alliance in 2020, joining Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming.


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