The 2,564 teu MSC SAMIRA III currently offers the last voyage for the independent MSC North Europe – North America East Coast ‘Boston Express’ service, says Alphaliner.
The closure of this transatlantic loop will be offset by the addition of Halifax and Boston to the rotation of the “Ecuador to NWC” service in northern Europe and the west coast of South America.
Launched in April 2022, the ‘Boston Express’ used to turn around in four weeks with 4 ships from 2,560 to 4,900 TEU calling at Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Boston, Montreal and Antwerp. It was included in MSC’s transatlantic bid to replace the old Boston call on the western leg of Northern Europe: WCSA ‘Ecuador to NWC’. It also provided additional capacity to/from Montreal.
MSC is now returning to the previous configuration of serving Boston with the fruit-oriented ‘Ecuador Express’ on the return leg to Latin America. This service will also add a stop in Halifax to serve the Canadian market.
The ‘Ecuador to NWC’ will start turning in eight weeks (one more) with stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Halifax, Boston, Freeport, Rodman (Balboa), Guayaquil, Puerto Bolívar, Guayaquil, Paita, Cristóbal, Moin, Antwerp .
The 9,408 teu MSC ELMA will be the first ship to follow this new schedule when it begins its next southbound voyage on May 29 in Antwerp. MSC is not only expanding the geographic reach of the service, but is also preparing a fleet upgrade.
The ‘Ecuador to NWC’ loop has so far been mainly operated with 4,112 teu Albatros class vessels with high refrigerated cargo capacity, as they are equipped with 1,300 refrigerated plugs. MSC ELMA (equipped with 1,700 refrigerated plugs) is obviously twice as big and will soon join the service’s fleet by sister ships MSC LILY and MSC ANTONELLA of 8,819 teu, as well as MSC AMALFI of 9,403 teu.