Maersk announces consolidated ‘Al Maha’ ocean service connecting Middle East and Europe markets

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A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) has announced a new ocean shipping service, ‘Al Maha’ (meaning ‘wide’), that will commence rotation between the important ports across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, and Morocco in June 2023.

As a result of this implementation, Maersk will discontinue the ME3 and ME4 services and serve all customers on those trade routes with the Al Maha service.

“Over the last few years, reliable and predictable supply chains that cater to the evolving consumer behaviours have emerged as the backbone of global trade,” says Bhavan Vempati, Head of Regional Ocean Management, Maersk Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa. “Having carefully studied our customers’ requirements arising out of the current market dynamics, we have designed the Al Maha service that will help our customers in driving value out of their supply chains.”

The Al Maha service aims to benefit exporters and importers in the region in different ways across different commodities.

Petrochemical exports from Saudi Arabia have traditionally faced challenges either from either a cost or capacity perspective with existing ocean transportation options. The Al Maha service will offer loading flexibility from Saudi Eastern Province, enabling customers to reshuffle between Dammam and Jubail, providing ample capacity to cater for customers’ needs and with more reliable schedules allowing better planning of their supply chains. The Al Maha service will offer further connections to European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern markets for the petrochemical exporters out of Saudi Arabia.

Oman’s Vision 2040 focuses on economic diversification, including creating a world-class fisheries sector that is ecologically sustainable and a net contributor to the economy of Oman. The Al Maha service, with its enhanced capacity, will be in an excellent position to support the anticipated growth in fish exports out of Duqm. At the same time, it will continue to deliver unmatched reliability to Maersk’s customers.

Likewise, the UAE – West Africa market will also benefit largely from the enhanced capacity of Al Maha service, according to Maersk. With the expectation of higher schedule reliability and predictability from this service, customers will be able to plan their supply chains well in advance and, in return, serve their end-users better.

Bhavan Vempati further added: “We remain committed to our customers and focus on responding to the needs of their end consumers. Our ambition is to play a significant role in the economic growth and development of our customers as well as the economies we operate in.”
The Al Maha service will include seven vessels with a nominal capacity of 8,500 TEUs per week and follow the rotation Port Tangier – Port Said – Jeddah – Salalah – Jebel Ali – Doha – Dammam – Jubail – Jebel Ali – Duqm – Salalah – Jeddah – Port Said – Port Tangiers.

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