MSC adds Jeddah to Asia-Mediterranean route as network realignment continues

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) has announced a new port of call in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for its Asia-Mediterranean Dragon service.

The Dragon service was launched in February this year with stops in Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Singapore, Ashdod, Naples, La Spezia, Genoa, Fos sur Mer, Gioia Tauro, King Abdullah, Singapore and Shanghai.

An average of 12 ships, each with 15,000 TEU, are in service on the weekly line.

“The latest connection is critical to the Kingdom’s ambitions to expand its network of global sea routes, creating a wealth of opportunities for the local economy, in line with the goals of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS),” said the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani). ) said in a statement.

The Authority further noted: “MSC’s inclusion of Jeddah as a port of call also reflects the Red Sea port’s vitality to global trade, in addition to its reputation as a world-class destination characterized by high levels of efficiency and productivity, a fact confirmed by its high ranking in major international indices.”

At the time of the launch of the Dragon service, MSC had said: “With this expanded service, MSC will be the first operator to offer a direct call to Naples, allowing shippers to get the best coverage in the southern Italian market.”

According to the National Ports Authority, the Port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s busiest cargo port, recorded 5 million gateway TEUs and 3 million transhipment TEUs in 2022. The combined volumes handled by different Saudi Ports Authority terminals reached 681,663 TEU in April, up 13.5% year-on-year, data shows.

As part of a long-term growth vision, Saudi Arabia aims to quadruple its annual container throughput to 40 million TEU by 2030.

Jeddah has recently become a flashpoint for airlines serving India and the Middle East as they seek additional regional volumes to offset demand pressures in the primary markets.

For example, MSC recently expanded the port rotation of its Himalayan Express (IEX) service between the West Indies and Europe with a call at Jeddah. The Indamex 2, which is jointly operated by Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM between the West Indies and the East Coast of the USA, also added Jeddah to its schedule from January this year.

MSC has realigned its networks and vessel deployment on all trade routes to better align capacity with current market conditions.

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