MSC and Maersk cancel Asia-Europe service and reduce speed of their ships

MSC and Maersk, working together as the 2M alliance, have decided to discontinue one of their Asia-Europe services. The service in question is called Shogun at MSC and AE1 at Maersk and connects Ningbo, Xiamen, Yantian and Tanjung Pelepas with Rotterdam and Bremerhaven. In practice, the service had been largely shut down since late last year and was still only served by one container ship, which was described as a “ghost ship”. MSC and Maersk have now permanently discontinued the service due to “globally changing trade dynamics”. Maersk says there is declining demand which now leaves capacity. By discontinuing the service, the shipping companies can deploy their vessels on other routes and improve the reliability of those services.

Maersk says that new challenges can be expected in 2023, so reducing the number of services and improving the reliability of the remaining services is a good idea. This includes adjusting the speed of ships on the remaining services to reduce emissions and improve the reliability of sailing schedules. MSC is adding a call in Xiamen to their Silk service and Maersk is adding a call in Xiamen and calls in Rotterdam of the Lion/AE5 service (westbound) and the Griffin/AE55 service (eastbound) to improve service coverage.