MSC started a weekly service between North Europe and Panama, also connecting directly to Baltic Russia (St. Petersburg). The new loop’s itinerary is: Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Colon (Cristobal) and back to Rotterdam. The new loop will deploy six around 2,500 TEU ships with each some 500 to 800 reefer plugs. As some of the ships will be sublet from MSC’s new-found partner CSAV, it is assumed that the Chilean carrier will have slots.
With Colon (Cristobal) as the single Latin American port of call on this link, it is presumed to function as a hub for other Latin American origins/destinations, possibly including (bananas from) Guayaquil, Ecuador. The latter trade was the reason for Maersk Line starting its Ecubex service, directly connecting to St. Petersburg in early 2010.
Source: Dynaliners, 29-07-2011