Port call shuffle at Nhava Sheva, while ex-India rates keep rising

Release date: 2024-07-04
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Port call shuffle at Nhava Sheva, while ex-India rates keep rising

© Oana Ungureanu



Ocean service network changes, ostensibly prompted by the upcoming Gemini Cooperation between Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, have begun to unsettle terminal arrangements in India.

In a first sign of this, from mid-month Hapag-Lloyd’s premier India-North Europe service, known as IOS, will switch its weekly calls from DP World Nhava Sheva (NSIGT) to APM Terminals’ Mumbai or Gateway Terminals India (GTI).

The terminal reshuffle follows the German carrier implementing an updated port rotation for IOS, featuring Jebel Ali, Karachi, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Tanger, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, London Gateway, Tanger and Jebel Ali.

IOS uses a fleet of 12 vessels, with one contributed by ONE.

CMA CGM has held slot rights on the service, selling space as EPIC2, touted as a complementary string to its flagship EPIC (Europe-Pakistan-India Consortium) routing. However, it is believed that the Hapag-Lloyd/CMA CGM co-operation on India-North Europe trade will soon end, as Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd begin their new alliance early next year.

The IOS terminal change will begin with the Frankfurt Express arriving at Nhava Sheva on 13 July, according to a CMA CGM (India) advisory.

GTI has boosted capacity from a recent infrastructure upgrade, covering new crane deployments, making room for more calls and better productivity.

Terminal competition at Nhava Sheva has gained pace in recent years, after PSA opened a new facility with 4.8m teu capacity in two phases.

CMA CGM recently won concession rights for the modernisation and operation of Nhava Sheva’s oldest terminal, paving the way for the French liner to rearrange port calls to gain dedicated terminal benefits in the longer term.

Thanks to increasing vessel calls, Nhava Sheva has seen combined Q1 (April/June) throughput expand 10% year on year, with PSA Mumbai/BMCT leading the pack, according to new port data.

Meanwhile, as vessel capacity pressures grow, due to schedule disruptions and early peak-season demand, freight rates on the India-Europe trade have risen, with further increases on the way.

CMA CGM has announced a hefty hike in its freight all kinds (FAK) rate from India to North Europe and the Mediterranean from 15 July, of $6,000 per container. And Hapag-Lloyd has advised customers of a $500-per-container hike in its India-North Europe rates, with a 15-day validity, also from 15 July.

Additionally, MSC has reset its FAK rates on the same tradelane from 1 July, charging $5,000 per teu and $5,300 per feu/hi-cube from Nhava Sheva to Antwerp. For Nhava Sheva-Valencia, rates have increased to $5,700 and $6,000, respectively.

And the rates push also goes across other trades, with India-Latin America shipping set to become significantly costlier. CMA CGM will implement higher FAK rates, of $7,500 per teu and $8,500 per feu, to east coast Central America and the Caribbean, also from 15 July.

Similarly, Hapag-Lloyd has announced a $3,000-per-box general rate increase (GRI) for Indian bookings to east/west coast Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, also from 15 July.

Raju Anthony, COO of Mumbai-based ship agent Abrao Group, told The Loadstar both tonnage and equipment remained a major challenge for cargo owners.

“The problems seem only to be worsening, due to port congestion and longer transits linked to the Red Sea diversions.”

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