Canada Maritime has announced a retonnaging program for its Mediterranean service.
Starting in early April, Canada Maritime will undertake the following ship replacements:
– On Route A, four 1500 TEU ships will replace four 1000 TEU ships. Two will be provided by Canada Maritime, two by Senator Lines, Canada Maritime’s partner in the Joint Mediterranean Canada Service (JMCS).
– Route B will continue to be served by four 1000 TEU ships, all provided by Canada Maritime.
– Route C, which was implemented last year on an interim basis, will be phased out with the arrival of larger ships on Route A.
Overall capacity deployed in the service will remain essentially unchanged.
"Ever since we started Route C as a temporary response to market demand, we have been reviewing various long-term alternatives," says Aad Wielaard, Canada Maritime’s Director responsible for the Mediterranean service. "Retonnaging in this way offers the best solution all round because we will provide the same high level of service over two routes instead of three. This more efficient fleet deployment further improves schedule integrity and reliability, leading to a stronger service overall."
Replacement ships will be phased in gradually between April and September to allow for scheduled drydockings. As part of this process, the two ships currently serving on Route C, Canmar Spirit and Canmar Venture, will be retired from service.
Canada Maritime entered the Mediterranean trade in 1986 as one of three carriers sharing two ships on a fortnightly service linking North America with Livorno, Genoa, Valencia and Cadiz. Since then, it has brought in a series of service enhancements, including:
– Port calls have doubled from the original four to eight. – Frequency has doubled from fortnightly in one route to fixed-day weekly on two. – Canada Maritime was the first North Atlantic container line to offer regular direct calls in Portugal. – Agencies appointed in the early years in Italy, Spain and Portugal were acquired over time and are now part of Canada Maritime. – New agency partners have been appointed in the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean, widening overall market coverage. The latest is Seawave Navigation in Tunisia. – During times when its vessel-sharing partners have left the trade, Canada Maritime has filled the gap on its own.
"Fifteen years of uninterrupted service in any trade is worth mentioning. But 15 years of continuously improving service in the Mediterranean is especially noteworthy," said Terry Burrows, Senior Vice President of CP Ships responsible for the group’s Montreal Gateway businesses. CP Ships is Canada Maritime’s parent.
"More than other trades, the Mediterranean attracts opportunists who come and go depending on market cycles, and who stay around long enough to make those cycles more marked than they should be. Under these circumstances, it is a challenge to build a reputation as a steady, reliable long term player," Burrows added.
As with all its routes, Canada Maritime operates its Mediterranean Service via Montreal.
Route A links Montreal with Gioia Tauro, Naples, Genoa and Fos.
Route B serves Montreal, Valencia, Livorno, Cadiz and Lisbon.
In February, the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, recognised Canada Maritime’s excellence in the Mediterranean by voting it the "Best Ocean Carrier for the Mediterranean" for the second consecutive year.
Further details as to specific ship assignments on both routes A and B will be finalised over the next several weeks.