West Med congestion sees neopanamaxes heading to Tenerife for the first time

Residents on the normally sleepy island of Tenerife have been greeted by the sight of massive boxships of an unprecedented size paying visits over the past week.

Ongoing congestion issues in the west Mediterranean hub ports of Algeciras and Tanger Med have prompted carriers, specifically Maersk Line, to divert large mainline ships to the Canary Islands, Alphaliner reports in its latest weekly report.

“Due to the problems in the Gibraltar Straits ports, Maersk temporarily uses Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife to perform transhipment operations between high capacity east-west main lines, north-south services, and regional Africa related loops,” Alphaliner reported.

In the past weeks, the diversions have brought record-sized ships to the island of Tenerife which, contrary to the nearby Gran Canaria, had previously never received any call from a ship in the 10,000 teu and above range.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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