A new Express shipping Service connecting South-East India And Europe, dubbed IEX – will start operations next October. So will an additional Africa service, called MIAX, linking the Arabian Gulf, India, Sri Lanka, La Réunion, South Africa and West Africa.
Regarding the upcoming IEX offering, H-L officials speak of a “game changer”, as it will be the first dedicated direct sea route from South-East India to Europe”, offering connectivity to the
global network of Hapag-Lloyd”, emphasizes Maximilian Rothkopf, Chief Operating Officer at Hapag-Lloyd.
The weekly operations, to be jointly conducted with ONE, YML and COSCO, will be made up of nine 6,500 TEU vessels, with H-L contributing four ships adding up to 26,000 standard container positions.
IEX was triggered by increasing market demand. “Our customers have been talking to us about their growing needs in the Indian and Bangladeshi markets, and we have been listening,” states Mr Rothkopf. The following ports will be called on the rotations: Visakhapatnam, Krishnapatnam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Colombo, Cochin, Damietta, Piraeus, Rotterdam, London Gateway Port, Hamburg, Antwerp, Le Havre, Damietta, Jeddah, Colombo, Visakhapatnam.
The first departures will take place on 26 October.
Strengthening African presence
IEX is complemented by the carrier’s upcoming Middle East-India-Africa Express liner service as well, starting next October. H-L emphasizes that MIAX is integrated into their Global Mainline Network with the central ports Jebel Ali (Dubai) and Colombo. The service will be jointly operated with Ocean Network Express. In total, nine vessels with a capacity of 2,800 TEU each will be used for the new route, with five of them provided by Hapag-Lloyd.
Interview with Mark Wottke, Senior Director Europe – Mediterranean – Africa (EMA) at Hapag-Lloyd
Mr Wottke, the new service complements your shipping line’s feeder traffic in East and West Africa. What motivated H-L to add the MIAX capacity to the network?
MW: This service expansion is a reaction to the ongoing market development in Africa that is very dynamic, experiencing annual growth rates between seven and ten percent, depending on local situations. Our aim is to play an even greater role in this extraordinary growth by creating effective solutions that add value for our customers. Let me add to this that MIAX is a complementary offering to our existing services WAX and MWX with each of them calling at Tangier, Morocco and Tema in Ghana.
How about bookings? Have first clients purchased MIAX capacity already?
MW: Not yet, because we will open our booking system only as of mid-September for the market. However, our market studies show that there is sufficient demand for these new Africa services.
What is the current rate situation for maritime transports to and from Africa?
MW: Rates are stable and demand for shipping is increasing. Being a global quality carrier our strategy is to participate in this growth. Our formula for success reads: fair rates, utmost quality, high service level. So far, this has paid off. And we are convinced that this applies also to our upcoming MIAX rotations.