It will be run in partnership with Hanjin instead of CSCL, as previously indicated (25 May), and Evergreen will simultaneously withdraw from its joint CEM/AEX1 service with CSCL.
This will leave CSCL to run the AEX1 service on its own, along with its present slot charterers Zim Line and CMA CGM, which was the situation that existed last year prior to the merger of Evergreen’s CEM service with it.
The net effect is that a whole new string is coming back into the tradelane at a time when it least needs it. Approximately 4% westbound capacity will be added to that on offer from all carriers on 1 July according toContainerisation International’s calculations, despite cargo growth remaining flat, and average westbound vessel utilisation sitting uncomfortably at around 84% beforehand.
Not surprisingly, ocean carriers’ have been struggling with their latest attempts to increase westbound freight rates again on 1 August.
Evergreen could, presumably, find no other home for its new 8,000 teu vessels currently being delivered. According to its latest schedules, the new CEM service (named CUS by Hanjin) will continue calling at Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Hong Kong and Shanghai and deploy nine vessels. Evergreen will provide five of these averaging 8,000 teu plus two averaging 10,100 teu chartered from Zim Line, and Hanjin will provide two averaging 10,000 teu.
As Hanjin operates within the CKYH alliance, with which Evergreen has a vessel sharing agreement, it seems safe to assume that fellow alliance members Coscon, K Line and Yang Ming will also share space on the new service.
No details are yet available on CSCL’s intentions, but according to reliable sources, no change in its current AEX1 schedule is planned.