- Maersk Line will launch a new trans-Atlantic service July 2, connecting four ports in the Mediterranean with two in Canada, according to a press release sent to Supply Chain Dive.
- The weekly service comes as Canada prepares to see the effects of two new trade deals, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with many countries in Asia.
- Maersk forecasts maritime container volume will grow 7% in 2018, bolstered by the two new trade deals. By calling in both Montreal and Halifax, the carrier hopes to service the large markets in Ontario and Quebec, as well as the perishable markets in East Canada, respectively.
The shifting world of trade has its most direct effect on the services ocean lines offer.
Maersk's new, weekly service for Canada and the EU are but one example. MSC recently suspended all services to Iran after the U.S. restored sanctions to the country. And the Chinese ban on imports of scrap products is affecting volumes among shipments to Asia.
Carriers, which are currently facing tight margins due to high fuel prices, are constantly looking for opportunities to secure high-value shipments. Maersk's focus on cold chain shipping to Halifax, for example, will attract valuable exports like wine, spirits, fruits and vegetables now subject to free trade under CETA terms.
As the entire world negotiates new free trade agreements, shippers should expect routes to shift accordingly.