Contship Reports Improved Schedule

Wednesday, August 13, 2003
The Eastbound alliance shipping service between Australia/New Zealand and the East Coast North America and Europe, revamped last year with the introduction of ten 4100 teu container ships, is reporting greatly-improved schedule integrity since changes were introduced to the timetable. By removing calls at Fremantle and New York the service will be in a better position to maintain fixed-day weekly sailings and provide shippers with the quality of supply chain integrity they require. According to Jeremy Masters, Contship Containerlines' Vice President Australasia/India, positive results are already flowing through from the fine-tuning. "As of the last week in July, there were few delays of any concern, due to factors such as berth congestion and engine problems. Corrective action had already been taken. "The great majority of vessels were tracking either on time or within an hour or two of their round-the-world voyage targets." Prior to making the schedule changes every vessel was off schedule to some degree. Masters said the timekeeping improvement was testimony to the determination to improve the service proposition to customers. "When the Contship Containerlines Eastbound service was introduced it brought an upgraded product to the market, with the replacement of older ships connecting Australia and New Zealand to markets in the East Coast North America, Northern Europe and Mediterranean. "Exporters had not had fixed-day, weekly sailing opportunities to Europe before. "In particular the introduction of new integral reefer technology was a major improvement for refrigerated cargoes, with 1300 plugs for reefer containers on each ship. "Experience of implementing such a comprehensive change however showed that more needed to be done to hold to the fixed-day weekly target. "We listened to the feedback from customers and were prepared to make the hard calls in order to give the market what it was asking for. It was a difficult decision to omit Fremantle and New York, but for a customer-focused organisation it was the right decision to make. "The benefits of that decision are now flowing through and the feedback we have from customers is that they are pleased we were prepared to act on their concerns" The Contship Containerlines Eastbound service still has a comprehensive voyage schedule, transiting via Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Napier, Port Chalmers, Manzanillo, Savannah, Philadelphia, Zeebrugge, Tilbury, Hamburg, Rotterdam, La Spezia and Damietta.

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