SINGAPORE's Pacific International Lines (PIL) is to join Rotterdam's NileDutch to provide a new Asia-West Africa service in May.
NileDutch's FEWA and PIL's SW3 will merge into a combined service offering direct weekly coverage from north, central and south China to South Africa, Angola and Congo deploying 13 panamax vessels. NileDutch will provide nine and PIL, the remaining four.
The service will greatly enhance capacity from FEWA service which currently deploys eleven 3,600 TEU ships while PIL's SW3 uses seven 1,700 TEUers.
The partnership follows MSC's announcement to begin a direct service to West Africa rather than transship to reduce transit times. Other partnerships on the Asia to west central Africa include CMA CGM and Maersk Line's combined direct services.
The trade lane has seen a year-on-year increase of 12.3 per cent to 1.4 million TEU in 2013 and is forecast to increase by 12.1 per cent to 1.6 million TEU this year, according to analysts at MDS Transmodal.
Previous projections of vessel utilisation levels by Containerisation International were at 86 per cent during the second quarter 2014, but this is likely to be offset by the cascading of larger vessels in service changes such as from MSC, NileDutch and PIL.
Source : HKSG.