The improved East-West service itinerary that sprung out of the vessel sharing agreement between container shipping giants Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co, known as the 2M, has been released.
Namely, MSC and Maersk, intend to operate six services on the Asia-north Europe trade lane, five between Asia and the Mediterranean, three from North America to north Europe, two from North America to the Mediterranean, four from Asia to the North American west coast and two between Asia and the North American east coast.
In addition, services from Asia to the North American east coast would transit the Suez Canal, not the Panama Canal.
According to MSC’s CEO Diego Aponte, the proposed VSA will increase the number of port pairs, provide more direct ports of call and enhanced transit times. What is more, scheduled integrity will improve as a result of the increased number of weekly savings. adding that one of VSA’s aims is to cut carbon emissions by over 20%.
“At this point, we continue to work closely with authorities, helping in any way that we can to ensure that the 2M vessel sharing agreement will be approved,” Aponte said.
Executive officials of the two container liners have been very busy last week, paying visits to Washington and China so as to clear the air for the VSA.
The executives asked U.S. regulators to swiftly approve their joint venture so as to avoid delay of the 2M launch scheduled for January next year.The US Federal Mairitme Commission has 45 days to review the proposal, but the clock could be stopped if the body were to decide to ask carriers additional questions on the matter. The regulations state that once the 45-day process is stopped, it can not be continued, but rather a new 45-day review period starts.
If all goes well, the 2M could be approved in the U.S. on October 11, which according to industry experts is looking more and more unrealistic.
World Maritime News Staff; September 23, 2014