APL shifts Mediterranean operations
from Gioia Tauro to Malta Freeport
The internationally renowned shipping line APL recently
chose the Malta Freeport's facilities for its transhipment operations
in the Mediterranean. APL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore
based Neptune Orient Lines and the carrier decided to start calling
at Malta Freeport in a twofold arrangement. APL joined two major clients
of the Freeport in the creation of the Sunda Express and It has also
reached an agreement with the CMA-CGM Group to use its slots for vessels
that operate between China and Malta Freeport.
Lloyd's List recently reported that Gioia Tauro, Malta Freeport's major
competitor, has lost the custom of the New World Alliance members, namely
APL, MOL and Hyundai Merchant Marine. Indeed, the New World Alliance
members pulled their Asia-Europe Express string out of Gioia Tauro last
month and informed the terminal's owner, Contship Italia, that the remaining
Japan/Asia-MediterraneanlNorthern Europe string would also cease calling
at Gioia Tauro at the end of this month. Lloyd's List said that the
departure of these two strings would reduce Gioia Tauro's traffic volumes
by an estimated 50,000 containers next year.
APL's fleet of more than eighty containerships serves more than 12,000
locations in 140 countries and services are available to and from North,
South, and West Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, East and
Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Australia. APL deploys over 450,000 containers
and chassis worldwide ensuring that containers are available in the
size and configuration needed. The shipping line has offices in more
than 80 countries worldwide. APL's sister company, APL Logistics, specialises
in supply-chain management services.
This year is proving to be another successful one for the company and
the Freeport is confident that this year's throughput level will exceed
last year's record-breaking figure of over 1.24 million TE Us.
In more new business for the Freeport, Sunda Express, the fixed-day
weekly service linking Asia and Europe, has also started calling at
the Malta Freeport, with the containership Fort St Pierre being the
first vessel to call at the Port.
This service will be operated by the CMA-CGM Group and Norasia Container
Lines, both of them major clients of the Freeport and APL, a member
of the New World Alliance. Sunda Express will be served with seven vessels,
with a capacity of around 3,000 TEUs each. The rotation of the service
will be: Jakarta, Singapore, Port Klang, Malta Freeport, Le Havre, Rotterdam,
Hamburg, Zeebrugge, Piraeus and Jakarta.