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Maersk doubles Asia/Europe capacity in wake of pandemic

A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) has announced it will double its capacity on the ocean and rail service from Asia to Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The carrier said it will add two more departures to its weekly AE19 service, which is a combination of short-sea and intercontinental rail product between ports in Korea, China and Northern European ports in Finland, Poland, Germany and Scandinavia

The service covers both westbound and eastbound directions for dry, refrigerated and dangerous cargo.

“The pandemic has triggered some trade bottlenecks in Europe that we can help solve by offering to our customers higher levels of supply chain management e.g. further developing rail into a cost efficient, reliable and scalable mode of transport between continents, creating fall back options which seems to be crucial in crisis situations,” Zsolt Katona, Managing Director, Eastern Europe, explained.

Competitive prices as well as faster transit shippers have increased bookings on the service

Attracted by both competitive prices as well as faster transit, both North East Asia and North Europe shippers have increased bookings on the service, “boosting AE19 volumes by approx. 75% in April, May and June compared to pre-COVID-19; a trend that will likely improve in the second half of the year,” points out Zsolt.

AE19 is enabled by TradeLens, a digital platform developed by Maersk and IBM, which provides shipping data directly from the source of each party involved in near real-time while connecting this rail corridor directly to its established ecosystem of international transportation service providers.

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