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Shaheen Express: Maersk to commence new service for the India – UAE – Saudi Arabia corridor

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A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) will launch a new ocean shipping service, ‘Shaheen Express’ starting from the last week of November 2022. The ‘Shaheen Express’ will rotate between Mundra, Pipavav, Jebel Ali, Dammam, and Jebel Ali and back to Mundra, creating a stable and reliable service for the India-UAE-Saudi Arabia corridor. The new service will primarily aim at addressing rising demand for customers trading between the Indian and the Gulf markets.

“The markets have started stabilising, and the ocean networks are normalising after over two years of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, not only did we strive hard to ensure we addressed all our customers’ challenges, but we also got a chance to look ahead and understand what their requirements would be in the future,” said Bhavan Vempati, Head of Regional Ocean Management, Maersk West & Central Asia. He added, “Through our customer conversations, we were able to make a more meaningful forecast around the rising demand and proactively deploy a new service to create a supply of space for this demand.”

India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) entered into force in May 2022, which is steadily boosting the volumes of trade between the two countries. The main commodities moving between these two countries that will benefit from the increased capacity include FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) such as electronics, perishables such as foodstuff, retail goods including textile and apparel, and chemicals. The ‘Shaheen Express’ will benefit the exporters of the petrochemical sector from the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

The ’Shaheen Express’ will offer improved transit time and better predictability between Indian ports and Gulf ports as compared to the existing services.

Bhavan Vempati further added, “We remain committed to our customers in West & Central Asia and want to bring reliable service to them. We will continue building robust partnerships with our customers and design solutions that create value for their business and contribute to the overall economic growth of the region.”

The ‘Shaheen Express’ will include two vessels with a nominal capacity of 1,700 TEUs per week.

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