On the first trip of the new South America service SAFRAN, the CMA CGM Violet put in to Hamburg on 03 December 2008. Loading and unloading was carried out at the Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA).
Built in 2006 at South Korea's Hyundai Mipo dockyard, the French shipping company's container vessel is 222 metres in length and 30 metres wide, and has a container slot capacity of 2800 TEU as well as 590 reefer connections. When fully loaded (39,400 DWT), the ship reaches a maximum draught of 12 metres.
The ports served by the new regular weekly service are as follows: Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Le Havre, Salvador (fortnightly), Suape (fortnightly), Santos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Itajai, Paranagua, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Tangier and back via Rotterdam to Hamburg.
The new service has six ships with a capacity ranging between 2700 and 2900 TEU plying between Europe and the east coast of South America. Six vessels are provided by CMA CGM and one by Maruba. In view of the large quantities of refrigerated goods that are sent north, the ships have as many as 600 reefer connections. The transit time for the round trip amounts to 42 days. A container takes just 18 days to cover the distance between Hamburg and Buenos Aires, 17 days for the route between Hamburg and Santos.
CMA CGM's SAFRAN service uses Tangier as a transshipment port for consignments to and from the Middle East. Connections between Tangier and Khor Fakkan are provided by the FAL-1 service, which operates between Europe and the Far East. The year 2007 saw a continuing concentration of container shipments between Hamburg and the east coast of South America, with the volume of goods rising to 344,000 TEU – 16 percent more than the previous year.
Shipments between Hamburg and the west coast of South America also developed positively, with a 13.2 percent increase reaching 86,000 TEU. Container transports to and from Brazil accounted for a total of 268,000 TEU. Brazilian industry continues to be responsible for a rising volume of foreign trade, strengthening Brazil's position as ninth in the list of Hamburg's top ten trading partners.