Effective from the end of May 2008, Maersk and Hamburg Sud will join forces in services connecting Australia and New Zealand to the U.S. East Coast and South- and Central America.
The service will cover the following port rotation:
Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), Melbourne (Australia), Port Chalmers (New Zealand), Tauranga (New Zealand), Auckland (New Zealand), Manzanillo (Panama), Cartagena (Columbia)*, Savannah (US), Philadelphia (US), Savannah (US), Balboa (Panama), Auckland (New Zealand). (*Only temporary and will be excluded latest November 2008.)
The restructured service will be complemented by a new weekly feeder service offering a fast connection between Sydney and Melbourne to the main ports of New Zealand. The new Southern Star Express service will also provide enhanced coverage of the New Zealand market by offering direct connections to all Maersk Lines services from Lyttleton, Wellington, Auckland, Port Chalmers, New Plymouth, Nelson and Timaru. The Southern Star Express service will replace Maersk’s present Trans Tasman service.
The change of the Oceania Service is a direct result of the "negative developments in our cost base," said Maersk. It said this is primarily caused by increasing fuel costs, combined with an unsustainable development in the supply and demand balance. "The new service will bring balance to the present market conditions and allow us to better utilise our assets. To cater for the peak season in 2009, Maersk Line will provide upgraded capacity in line with our customers’ requirements," Maersk said.