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CMA CGM is set to significantly increase the volumes of reefer containers it puts through London Gateway port after including it as its new UK call on the European Caribbean Services (ECS) it operates  with Hapag-Lloyd.

It is the first time a UK call has been included on the service, which connects Europe to the entire Caribbean through CMA CGM’s transhipment hub in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, and it is a service that is almost exclusively dedicated to reefer cargoes.

The new ECS port rotation will be Puerto Limon-Kingston-Rotterdam-DP World London Gateway-Hamburg-Antwerp-Le Havre-Caucedo-Kingston-Santo Tomas de Castilla-Puerto Cortes-Puerto Limon.

The service deploys three CMA CGM vessels of 2,300 teu capacity, and one Hapag-Lloyd vessel, and is the third CMA CGM service to calla at the port.

Rob Waterman, CEO of CMA CGM UK, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to offer our customers an enhanced service offering between Central America and North Europe. These improvements will lead to shorter transit times and provide greater choice to shippers moving goods between Central America & the Caribbean to the UK.”

London Gateway also hosts the French carrier’s Nemo service, connecting Oceania, the Mediterranean and northern Europe, and its Eurosal service between the South America west coast and Europe, which is soon to see its vessels upgraded to 10,000 teu capacity, following last year’s completion of the Panama Canal expansion project

James Leeson, head of port commercial at DP World London Gateway, said: “This is a great win, not just for DP World London Gateway, but for the UK, too.

“The start of the improved ECS weekly service will broaden the port’s trade route offering and also provide shippers with a highly competitive transit option between the UK and important Central America markets.

“Vessels calling here receive a superior temperature controlled container service. The port has almost 1,700 reefer plugs, a cassette and translifter system that enables containers to be moved around the terminal more efficiently and world-class inspection facilities that contribute to class leading release and dwell times.

“We look forward to receiving the first call by a vessel on the ECS service in the same week that the enhanced Eurosal service begins calling at DP World London Gateway Port,” he said.

The new service comes shortly after DP World announced that it had begun construction of the second phase of its London Logsitics Centre, the warehouse on the logistics park located behind the container terminal that was previously referred to as the common user facility.

Piling begins for phase two of the DP World-London Gateway logistics centre

Piling begins for phase two of the DP World-London Gateway logistics centre

It was operated by Import Services until earlier this year. London Gateway executives told The Loadstar that customer feedback had indicated that potential tenants of its warehouse facilities preferred to be closer to the end provider.

The new investment has been triggered by the decision this month by discount supermarket Lidl to occupy the whole 207,000sq ft warehouse in February.

In all, another 155,000sq  ft of warehousing is set to be put on the market in May, and will take total warehouse capacity of the park to 362,000sq ft.

Logistics park development director Oliver Treneman said: “This is a unique opportunity for a company to locate part of its operations at one of the UK’s most integrated logistics hubs. DP World London Gateway Port is witnessing exponential growth, with a number of new deepsea shipping services to new markets, so now is a great time to capitalise on available space at the logistics park and engage with us to create more value in the supply chain.”

The Loadstar understands the port is looking for a single tenant to take the new facility.

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