Lykes Lines Joins Mediterranean/U.S.Gulf/ Mexican Alliance
Contship Containerizes Ltd. and Transportation Maritima Mexicana (TMM) have announced changes in their existing vessel sharing agreement that will reportedly increase dependability, frequency and geographical scope of service between the U.S., Mexico and ports in the Mediterranean. Scheduled to begin in July, Lykes Lines Steamship will join the existing slot charter partners, Tecomar and Italia de Navigazione. Phase One of the service development will involve Contship and TMM operating three 2,100-TEU vessels servicing the ports Valencia, Barcelona, La Spezia, Miami, Altamira, Houston, New Orleans and Mobile on a fortnightly basis.
Phase Two of the development, planned for commencement in September, will include the addition of a fourth 2,100-TEU vessel, increasing the frequency to every 11 days and allowing for additional geographic coverage. Operators are understood to be currently evaluating port calls in Gioia Tauro, which would become a hub port to the eastern Mediterranean, together with a U.S. Atlantic coast port call. The five major carriers jointly announced that the strategic alliance will enable them to aggressively strengthen the level of service provided to a broad base of customers trading in the regions.
The carriers are also in discussion with other potential partners including Evergreen, which would join the consortia during Phase Two of the service development.