The container shipping alliance 2M – formed by Maersk Line and MSC – published the new shipping schedule for its Europe-Asia route today. And the changes have proven very much to Rotterdam’s advantage, with an extra first port of call position and an extra last port of call position in the itineraries of the largest vessels.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority consequently expects a substantial increase in 2M container volumes in the period ahead.
The existing shipping schedule already included Rotterdam as last port of call: the prime position, commercially speaking. In the new schedule, this status of ‘favourite’ will be doubled, since Europe’s largest port has been selected as first port of call on the important AE10 service, which offers the shortest transit time between the Far East and the North West Continent. The AE10 service is maintained by vessels with a capacity of 18,000 TEU.
In the five revised 2M schedules, one service no longer includes Rotterdam as a port of call. This service is maintained by smaller 13,000-TEU vessels. However, this loss is amply compensated for by Rotterdam’s improved position in the four other east-west services maintained by the larger ships. In its forecasts, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will therefore be taking account of a substantial increase in the number of containers that need to be handled on behalf of 2M.