Two of the world’s largest container carriers – Denmark’s Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) – are teaming up with Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) on the Asia to East Coast of South America (ECSA) trade, with the first sailing within the new vessel sharing agreement (VSA) slated for the beginning of July.
The new VSA will include 22 vessels on a two loop setup:
- Loop 1: Busan (South Korea) – Shanghai (China) – Ningbo (China) – Chiwan (China) – Yantian (China) – Hong Kong (Hong Kong) – Singapore (Singapore) – Santos (Brazil) – Parangua (Brazil) – Buenos Aires (Argentina) -Montevideo (Uruguay) – Rio Grande (Brazil) – Paranagua (Brazil) – Santos (Brazil) – Coega (South Africa) – Singapore (Singapore) – Hong Kong (Hong Kong) – Busan (South Korea)
- Loop 2: Chiwan (China) – Yantian (China) – Hong Kong (Hong Kong) – Singapore (Singapore) – Santos (Brazil) – Sepetiba (Brazil) – Itajai (Brazil) – Navegantes (Brazil) – Sao Francisco do Sul (Brazil) – Santos (Brazil) – Sepetiba (Brazil) – Capetown (South Africa) – Durban (South Africa) – Singapore (Singapore) – Chiwan (China)
MSC and Maersk Line will each operate six container ships of 9,000 TEUs on Loop 1. MOL will operate ten 5,500 TEU boxships on Loop 2.
The new agreement will replace all current VSAs in place on this route, which will expire at the end of June.
Maersk Line says that the Asia-ECSA route is key for the transport of electronics and automobile parts, as well as protein exports from the East Coast of South America to Asia.
The VSA is expected to simplify the network and improve operational responsiveness on the route, with vessels that are better suited for ECSA terminal capabilities.