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CMA CGM launches Brazil-Middle East service

CMA CGM launches Brazil-Middle East service

Salalah: FRENCH carrier CMA CGM is currently opening up a direct weekly service to the Middle East from Brazil as it tries to capitalise on the growth of chicken and other growing exports to the region. The first vessel on the Vasco Express service, which is understood to be the first of its kind, left Santos on February 15 and will arrive in Salalah on March 15.

The independent and direct service is deploy seven vessels of 1,850 TEU - all to be operated by CMA CGM - and each one will have 300 reefer plugs on board so as to take advantage of the export of chicken and other reefer cargo.

One manager at CMA CGM said: "The export of chickens to the Arab countries has grown phenomenally in recent years and this is one of the main reasons for this direct service. The chicken export ports of Itajai and Paranagua are both included in the roster."

Most other lines that serve the growing rade between Brazil and the Middle East - including Maersk Line and Hamburg Sud - serve the region via transhipment.

The CMA CGM manager added: "I believe we are the first line to go direct and we certainly have the quickest transit time, with just 28 days."

The full port rotation will be Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Paranagua, Itajai, Rio Grande, in Brazil and then Salalah in Oman, Khorfakkan, in the United Arab Emirates, Nhava Sheva in India, Port Louis in Mauritius, Durban in South Africa, and then Durban back to Rio de Janeiro.

The line manager for CMA CGM based in Rio said that the service wouild be fixed day service. He said most carriers transhipped to the Middle East from Durban or Port Klang, or from European Med ports such as Algeciras and Barcelona.

Prior to the launch of this brand new service, CMA CGM used to connect to the Middle Eastern ports via transhipment from Port Klang.   [06/03/07]