Giant shipping alliance comes to Israel for the first time at Haifa Port


Maersk Israeli lineThe direct line shared by the world’s largest shipping companies Maersk and MSC is coming to Israel for the first time – as part of their massive 2M Alliance.

The route, which begins in the ports of East Asia, will sail directly to Haifa Port, which port CEO Mendi Zaltzman describes as a “great challenge for Haifa  and its workers, but one they are ready to take on.”

The immense container ship Gustav Maersk will enter Haifa Port for the first time on October 15. At 367 metres in length with a maximum capacity of more than 10,000 TEU, the Gustav will be the largest container ship ever to dock at an Israeli port.

Onboard the ship will have a cargo of grey and yellow containers – a colour combination that has become more and more familiar at worldwide ports during the past year.

The colours represent the alliance that has ben formed between the world’s two largest shipping companies – the Danish company Maersk, which the grey containers represent, and its partner in the 2M Alliance the Swiss company MSC, which the yellow containers represent.

The containers also represent the dawn of a new era for East Asian imports to Israel – its largest and most important trade route aside from Western Europe.

According to the Israel Shipping & Ports Authority, these imports will total more than 200,000 containers annually once the 2M Alliance’s ships begin to call at Haifa Port on a weekly basis.

Haifa port has already demonstrated the meticulous adherence to schedules and operational efficiency required by the Maersk and MSC managements, including a high-average productivity of 30 containers per crane hour.

The port set an all-time record for productivity during one shift last month – a record output of 318.8 containers per ship hour was achieved by the Carmel Terminal’s six STS cranes, which were assigned to operate on the ZIM Los Angeles. All six cranes attained excellent productivity during the same shift, with the record for a single crane also being broken when the crew operating crane G21 averaged 74.7 containers per crane hour.

The ships of the AE12/TP2 line will start calling at Haifa in October. The line runs from the port of Busan in South Korea, through Shanghai, Ningbo, Chiwan, and Singapore, and from there to Port Said and Haifa Port. After calling at Haifa. The line’s ships will then continue on to several ports in the Adriatic: Koper (Slovenia), Trieste (Italy), and Rijeka (Croatia).

Mendi Zaltzman, Haifa Port CEO said: “We are very proud of the fact we have been selected, and we are already preparing to accommodate this line in cooperation with other parties such as the Customs Authority and the cargo division of Israel Railways, so that we can provide the very best services to the shipping companies as well as importers and exporters. This is a great challenge for Haifa Port and all its workers. In recent years we have prepared ourselves to take on these challenges, and we have won full global recognition for this terminal’s ability to uphold the highest international standards.”