Container shipping major Maersk Line said that it has now opened acceptance of cargo to/from Qatar to be transshipped over Port of Salalah, Oman.
However, Maersk Line stressed that booking acceptance is open for all countries except UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen in compliance with the government guidelines.
“We will serve Doha for our customers on our own feeder to/from Salalah. The first sailing is scheduled on the vessel Jack London departing Salalah 26th June 2017 and arriving Doha 30th June 2017,” the company informed in an update.
As disclosed, the frequency of the service will be every 10 days. An update on rate levels effective July 1 is expected next week.
The contingency plan comes as a response to the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, that banned ships in their ports coming or destined for Qatar.
Yemen, Libya, Maldives, Mauritius and Mauritania have also cut the diplomatic ties with Qatar since June 5.
Due to the situation, last week Maersk Line had to close bookings for cargo that transship over Jebel Ali to or from Qatar.
Numerous other companies followed suit with announcements on not accepting cargo destined for Qatar, including Evergreen and OOCL.
Chinese shipping company COSCO also joined its counterparts in suspending cargo bookings from/to Qatar.
“As far as the onboard Qatar shipments, we will try our best to transit them to Hamad, but with huge uncertainty in delivery time. Meanwhile, we reserve the right to declare the Force Majeure and deliver the cargo at a safe and convenient port nearby,” the company said.
COSCO also said it was working on a contingency plan for delivering cargo from/to Qatar, which is expected to be announced soon.
World Maritime News Staff