Shipping giant Maersk will no longer be serving Malta its domestic cargo, the company announced on Friday. It comes after it reviewed its current network and decided to reduce the number of ports it calls at. Instead, a feeder service linking the transhipment port of Port Said Egypt to Malta will operate three times a week.
Joe Gerada, Group Managing Director at Thomas Smith, said the change will have little impact on Malta. “The effect of this is that it adds a few days to the transit time of the service Far East to Malta. The feeder services that used to feed other Mediterranean ports from the Far East service via Malta automatically move with the service. Otherwise all other services have stayed and there is no intention for any of them to change in the foreseeable future. The domestic trade has therefore not been impacted.”
Maersk Line will continue to operate direct services from North Europe, and South America besides being connected worldwide via other transhipment ports, as it has always been for many years.
“These decisions happen from time to time in shipping and are basically a shift in operations, usually with an aim of achieving better synergies depending on cargo mix of port of loading and port of discharge, freight rates, transit times and fuel economies. There is usually no one single reason that leads to this and in our long history and experience in container shipping we have witnessed many such changes. As likely as services are shifted away they are also shifted back over business cycles,” added Mr Gerada.