As part of its plan to review capacity deployment in trade lanes where returns are insufficient, CP Ships Limited plans to adjust Montreal Gateway capacity from early 2005.
CP Ships has reached agreement to charter three new ice-strengthened container ships currently under construction, each with a nominal capacity of 1600 teu (20-foot container equivalent units). The ships are intended to replace three 2400 teu ships in one of three Montreal Gateway-North Europe weekly services operated under the Canada Maritime and Cast brands.
The three new ships are expected to be phased in between February and April 2005.
The three 2400 teu ships being replaced, Cast Prominence, Cast Prospect and Cast Premier, are owned ships and will be redeployed elsewhere in the CP Ships network.
“With the ship charter market tighter than it has been in many years,finding new ice-strengthened ships so well suited to the Montreal Gateway is a real achievement,” commented CEO Frank Halliwell. “Securing these specialized ships allows us to adjust our supply-demand balance in a trade lane where returns have been disappointing-and do so without compromising service integrity during winter months. It also provides us the opportunity to deploy our larger owned ships more efficiently elsewhere in our network.”
The new ships will operate on a route that links North Europe through the ports of Liverpool and Antwerp with the North American heartland via Montreal.