ZIM Integrated Shipping Services has introduced a new express string between West India and East Africa.
The independently-operated service, branded as IAX (India Africa Express), has the following port rotation: Nhava Sheva (PSA Mumbai), Mundra, Dar es Salaam and Mombasa.
The Israeli carrier has deployed three vessels with a capacity of around 1,500 TEU each for a weekly frequency on the route.
“PSA Mumbai welcomed ZIM Integrated Shipping Services’ new IAX (India Africa Express) service with the berthing of MV Pacific Trader on 7 September 7,” the terminal operator said in a trade advisory.
The terminal operator noted, “The new addition to existing vessel services shall continue to offer importers and exporters a reliable route to market with fixed weekday schedules from PSA Mumbai.”
The latest service addition takes the number of weekly sailings hosted by PSA Mumbai, also known as Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMC), to 14, port sources told Container News.
Sources added that agricultural commodities would be the mainstay of export lifts on the new service.
Earlier this year, ZIM revamped its ZIM-Med-ISC (ZMI) Service between India and the Mediterranean, also operated independently, by extending its coverage to East Mediterranean and North Europe, after exiting long-time vessel-sharing arrangements with Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC). This service also calls at BMCT.
PSA Mumbai began operations in February 2018, with a designed capacity of 2.4 million TEUs annually. Work on its Phase II development of the same scale is underway and expected to go live in April 2025, according to current indications.
Nhava Sheva Port features five container terminals. The port authority recently privatised its own terminal, known as JNPCT, under a 30-year concession awarded to a consortium formed by CMA Terminals (CMAT) and Mumbai-based JM Baxi Group.
The move is expected to heat up intra-port competition for market share as the government port faces ever-growing challenges from the Adani Group-operated terminals at Mundra and Hazira, farther up the west coast.
BMCT saw volumes between April and August reach 648,104 TEUs, according to port data. With more services calling at the terminal, the pace of growth is expected to accelerate in the months ahead.
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