FRENCH shipping giant CMA CGM's new NC Levant Express service linking Hamburg with the Turkish ports of Mersin and Iskenderun was launched last week with the arrival of the CMA CGM White Shark in Hamburg.
A total of five containerships with slot capacities of between 3,800 und 4,200 TEU are deployed on the weekly service handled in Hamburg by Eurogate Container Terminal.
After Hamburg, the ports called are: Antwerp, Le Havre, Tangier, Malta, Alexandria, Damietta, Beirut, Mersin, Iskenderun, Algeciras, Southampton and Rotterdam.
Peter Wolf, CEO of CMA CGM (Deutschland) said the new express service offers attractive transit times and excellent opportunities for transport between two important Turkish ports, the Eastern Med and five key ports in Europe.
"Hamburg is its northern hub, splendidly located with its dense network of feeder services. Import and export cargoes can rapidly be transshipped onto or from feeders with Scandinavia and other countries in the Baltic region for onward shipment," Mr Wolf said .
Despite restrictions caused by the corona pandemic, container services between Hamburg and Turkish ports have bucked the trend and continued to grow. In the first three quarters of 2020, a total of 114,000 TEU were handled in Hamburg in container traffic with ports in Turkey, an 18.8 per cent increase.
"We are delighted to have this new liner service in the Port of Hamburg. The trend in seaborne foreign trade with Turkey is extremely positive. Even before corona, in 2019 container transport between Hamburg and Turkey at 132,000 TEU, and seaborne cargo handling of 2.2 million tonnes, set a new handling record. We are also expecting a fresh record for 2020," says Axel Mattern, joint CEO of Port of Hamburg marketing.
A total of nine liner services connect Hamburg with ports in Turkey. These consist of six container services, two multi-purpose services and one vehicle service. Depending on direction and rotation, transit times between Hamburg and the Turkish ports are between ten and 14 days.