New Norwegian Shortsea Line
A newly established Norwegian shipping line, Viasea Shipping AS, started a container line between Rotterdam and the Oslofjord earlier this month. A large Norwegian forwarder is behind the initiative.
Viasea will focus on shortsea services, intra-European container shipping without feeder containers.
The main focus is regularity and predictability and to provide an alternative to trucks between many parts of Europe and Norway.
Viasea will be a small player with great flexibility and quick decision-making, according to a press release from the company.
Viasea Shipping AS is led by Morten Pettersen, who has over 20 years experience in the shortsea market. His background is from Unifeeder, Tschudi Shipping, and Samskip.
The company will be headquartered in Moss, Norway, with an office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Viasea Shipping’s primary markets will be Norway and the Benelux countries, but other areas of the continent such as the Ruhr Valley in Germany, northern France, and the UK are also focus areas. The company is offering seaborne transshipment to four UK ports: Immingham, Thamesport, Teesport, and Blyth. The cargo is carried on A2B-Online ships.
The company reported good response to the announcement of its offerings.
The company’s first container vessel is MV Nor Feeder with a capacity of 508 TEU. The ship made its first departure from Rotterdam on November 4, and arrived in Oslo the morning of November 7.
The company’s ships will call on intra-European shortsea terminals only, to avoid large and congested oversea terminals. The carriers’ hub on the continent is at Moerdijk, chosen because it half way between Rotterdam and Antwerp. That makes the port ideal hub for transporting to and from the European hinterland.
The premise of the serviice is that there is great potential to shif freight from trucks to ships, provided the sea service maintains reliable schedules and affords good customer service. There is also room for improvement in the industry with innovative solutions and digital services.