New MSC service links Australia direct with Middle East
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has announced the launch of a new Australia Express service, linking Australian ports directly with Europe, India, the Middle East, and Pakistan.
The new service will negate the need for transhipments out of Singapore, with its first sailing to be made by SCT Zurich out of Sydney, on March 23rd.
MSC state manager for Western Australia/Northern Territory Robert Boyce told IHS Maritime the service was a reorganisation of existing liner services to directly connect Australia with major markets instead of routing cargo via Singapore.
Previously the shipping company has used the island nation as a transit hub to ship cargo to Europe, India, the Middle East, Pakistan, and the Red Sea region.
"It's a modification of a current service we have been running, not an additional service in the market," said Boyce. "It's taken the transhipment off of Singapore and made us more competitive."
MSC liner vessels will depart Australia out of Fremantle after calling at Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.
The vessels on the new service will then circuit from Singapore to Chennai, Colombo, King Abdullah Port, Gioia Tauro, Valencia, Fos, La Spezia, Naples, Gioia Tauro, and Suez before heading south to Pointe des Galets, Port Louis and east back to Sydney.
The express service connects directly with other MSC services, providing improved transit times and a wider transhipment network, which MSC says will make the shipping line’s services more competitive.
Boyce said that the changes were not due to greater export or import volumes or increased margins, but instead allowed greater flexibility and could potentially open up new markets.
Currently, MSC liner vessels outbound cargo consists of mainly of Australian meat and agricultural products in reefers, containerised grain, and mineral cargo. The vessels return cargo would consist of manufactured goods and foodstuffs.