Image Courtesy: EUROGATE

Six more container shipping lines will start calling at Germany’s only deep water port, Wilhelmshaven, from April 2017, Bremen-based terminal operator EUROGATE informed.

The newly formed shipping alliance OCEAN Alliance is to include EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven in its schedules as part of Asia-North Europe 1 service.

The alliance, comprised of French shipping company CMA CGM, China’s COSCO Shipping, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Taiwanese Evergreen, will call at the port with ultra large container carriers (ULCVs) once a week.

The Asia-North Europe 1 service will have the following port rotation: Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Yantian (Shenzhen), Singapore, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Gdansk, Wilhelmshaven, Felixstowe, Singapore, Yantian (Shenzhen), Shanghai.

Furthermore, as a result of forthcoming operational changes, Germany’s Hamburg Süd and South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will extend their offering to include Wilhelmshaven, starting from April.

German container carrier Hamburg Süd is likely to be acquired by Danish shipping giant Maersk Line. Additionally, HMM reached an agreement with Maersk Line and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which together make the 2M alliance, to enter into a new strategic cooperation.

“The six further shipping lines in Wilhelmshaven will significantly extend and complement the existing Maersk Line services,” the terminal operator said.

Due to the re-formation of the alliances as a result of the intensifying consolidation process on the part of the shipping lines, the industry is currently undergoing a process of change.

Given the ever larger vessels operating the services between Asia and Northern Europe, carriers decided to include Wilhelmshaven at larger scales as this German terminal is able to accommodate mega containerships with a draught of up to 16.5 meters.