MSC Set to Sail Slower

Tuesday June 12, 2018

Box carrier MSC is set to sail slower, MSC Group president and chief executive Diego Aponte has said.

The move is part of efforts to combat rising bunker prices and unreliable services.

"We have decided to go for more slow steaming, and will add vessels to current strings that we operate, in order to improve punctuality," Aponte told Lloyd's List.

The added vessels will come by pulling back from unprofitable routes.

"Those lines that are not yielding a result will be scrubbed," he added.

MSC's 2M alliance partner, Maersk Line, is also understood to be considering a reduction in vessel speed.

"There are many levers a shipping company can pull to increase punctuality and efficiency. These include the removal of port calls, the reduction of speed as well as adding ships to a service," American Shipper quoted the company as saying in a statement today.

Maersk Line added it would look at "all available tools in the toolbox".

Aponte also hit out at the growing number of mega-boxships, saying they added to congestion problems due to being hard to manoeuvre in port.

Some ports struggled to handle the huge vessels efficiently, he said, adding to delays.

MSC, the second largest carrier in the world by capacity, recently joined its peers in introducing a controversial emergency bunker surcharge in response to rising bunker prices.

But with the IMO 2020 global 0.50% sulfur cap now less than 19 months away, bunker costs for the entire world fleet are set to rise.

Stamatis Tsantanis, CEO of Seanergy Maritime Holdings, believes the global fleet will slow down by 30% as a result.