Database Update: Intra-Europe Completely Mapped

Container shipping has an important significance in the lives of over 740 million people living in Europe in terms of international trade, job creation, and investment.

After mapping all North-South and East-West container shipping services in 2016, we’re excited to announce that our team in Denmark has now mapped all intra-Europe services and feeders. In total 254 new services have been added from 48 companies calling 205 ports.

From an industry point of view, the intra-European container shipping network can be split into two primary trade definitions:

  1. A set of main line services, catering to the intra-regional cargo flows between the European countries (often known as short-sea services)
  2. A number of hub-and-spoke related feeders, whose primary objective it is to connect the smaller European outports, through major hub ports, to the large trunk lines to/from Asia, North America, and the rest of the world (known as feeders)

Mapping these above services and keeping them constantly updated is no small feat.

The region that we include consists of 41 countries, accessing the shipping lanes through six coastal regions: Northern Europe, Scandinavia & Baltics, Southern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, and North Africa. For a full description of these coastal regions, click here for a reference list.

A total of 205 ports within these six regions are called on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Seem like a lot? We were also surprised to find that a small country like Iceland has ten different container ports, and Algeria, with a relatively short coastline, has eight. Many of these ports are only called by one or two services, but we include them so you can have a complete overview of all the connections by sea in Europe and the Mediterranean.

There are 48 vessel operators catering to these ports, ranging from the small operators with one service like EuroAfrica, to regional experts like Eimskip and Arkas, to the major feeder operators like Unifeeder, X-Press Feeders, and Seago Line.

Each service is mapped by the ports called and includes ETAs and ETDs at each port, if they are available. We list all primary VSA partners, but do not include the main liners buying slots on the common feeders. At the end of each service’s description you can find a list of the vessels used; we also include the average vessel capacity. When one carrier’s website does not provide complete information, we compare schedules with other VSA partners in order to find all of the necessary details. 

We name each service with a prefix such as ‘Intra-regional - Europe’ or ‘Feeders - Black Sea’, depending on their primary function. This is not always an easy distinction, and you will of course find short-sea services catering to feeder cargo in certain legs, or feeders covering more than one coastal region.

When you search for a specific coastal region in our database, you may find services with seemingly unrelated prefixes appearing in the results. This is because our coastal region filter includes all trade flows in a service; as there is not always a clear distinction between whether a service is intra-regional or simply a feeder, you may see certain services listed in a search result for both. For example, search for Eastern Mediterranean feeder exports will bring up the Seago Levant intra-regional service that includes a bottleneck at Port Said.

 To see all the services in the intra-Europe network, including short-sea services and feeders for all six coastal regions, we’ve created a parent region called “Intra-Europe”. From the Services search page, select “G: Intra-Europe” under the “Primary trade lane” drop-down menu.

Have a poke around your dashboard to see the 254 new services we’ve added. Alternatively, you can download the latest Market Intelligence File and get straight to making your own graphs and tables. We’ve made a separate file just for intra-Europe trade so you can focus on just the data you need.

We’re constantly expanding our database. Our dedicated team of analysts in Denmark is always keeping an eye out for changes to the services we’ve already mapped, so you can be sure your information is up-to-date and thoroughly researched.

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