CP Ships Limited's division Canada Maritime, along with OOCL, its partner in the St Lawrence Coordinated Service (SLCS), has agreed to charter a fixed number of container slots to members of the CANEX consortium, Maersk Sealand, Mediterranean Shipping Company and P&O Nedlloyd, in the North America-Europe trade via Montreal. The two year agreement takes effect from January 2003.
In addition, to improve operational efficiency, CANEX expects to move its existing service from its current Montreal marine terminal to CP Ships' Montreal Gateway Terminals. The move is expected during the first quarter 2003.
Initially, slots will be taken on three SLCS 2800 teu ice-strengthened ships, Canmar Pride, Canmar Honour and OOCL Belgium which operate on Route 1 Montreal-Thamesport-Antwerp-Le Havre. In the second half of 2003 these ships will be replaced by three 4100 teu ice-strengthened containerships currently being built for the Montreal trade, two for Canada Maritime and one for OOCL.
"The agreement will create greater operating efficiencies and has been facilitated by the planned expansion in capacity of our Canada Maritime services next year, and our five-year US$ 50 million investment program at Montreal Gateway Terminals completed
last year, as well as the recent 20-year terminal lease renewal," commented CP Ships CEO, Ray Miles. "It is also further evidence of carriers' commitment to work closer together as operating partners to achieve a better balance between capacity and container trade growth in the highly competitive TransAtlantic market."