ACL is to quit calling the Swedish Port of Gothenburg citing increasing costs and lower productivity.
ACL said that the “big change” to its 2018 schedule was the change of serving Gothenburg by feeder rather than by direct call.
Following the change ACL’s 2018 European port rotation will be Liverpool-Hamburg-Antwerp-Liverpool while the North American rotation will remain as North American port rotation of Halifax-New York-Baltimore-Norfolk-New York-Halifax.
“ACL has called at Gothenburg for all of its 50 years, so this is a big change for the company. However, the gradual decline in ocean freight rates over the past five years, combined with the inflexible berth availability, steadily increasing costs and lagging productivity at Gothenburg have given ACL no choice but to make changes to its schedule to improve the reliability of its service,” ACL said.
A protracted labour dispute at APM Terminals, which operates the container terminal at the Port of Gothenburg, saw container traffic at the Swedish port hit its lowest level since 2001 last year.
The change would add 3.5 days to ACL’s schedule restoring reliability to its service
Gothenburg will be served by a new ACL feeder container service that will load Swedish export cargo on Monday and arrive in Antwerp on Wednesday to connect to the transatlantic service. Swedish import cargo will leave Antwerp on Thursday with the vessel returning to Gothenburg on Monday.
The company will also utilise common feeder services.
For Swedish ro-ro cargo ACL is setting up a relay service using the Grimaldi Euromed vessel between Wallhamn and Antwerp.
Looking ahead in terms of the new services arrangements the company said: “ACL will operate this new service for six months then review it afterward. All of the port’s stakeholders – customers, terminal operator and labor – will play a significant role in determining whether ACL maintains, expands or reduces this service thereafter.”