CARRIERS Evergreen Marine and Cosco are upgrading the vessels deployed on the east coast of South America to Far East trade, at the end of this month, a reliable source in Santos told Lloyd’s List.
The joint venture betweeen the two carriers currently uses 2,800 teu capacity vessels. These will be replaced by new 3,459 teu Ital F class vessels.
The first vessel – the Ital Festosa – is due to call on February 27 in Santos, Brazil’s leading port for containers.
One reason for the extra capacity is to help shuttle empty containers from Buenos Aires, which is suffering from an empties overflow, and Santos, which is facing an empties shortage.
The source said: “Evergreen and Cosco are very pleased with the way things are moving in Brazil right now, and there is no despondency about the world economy down here. The extra slots will allow them to move empties from Buenos Aires up to Santos as there is a serious equipment imbalance in Argentina."
The imbalance, he added, was due to the port handling much more inbound than outbound cargo.
From Brazil to the Far East, the equation is more balanced, but empties are needed in Santos for the strong northbound trade to northern Europe and the US.
The joint venture involves six vessels operated by Evergreen, which also operates services to the US and northern Europe out of Santos, and three operated by Cosco.