The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and the Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), based in Geneva, are together running a regular weekly service (ISES) between northern Europe and the Indian subcontinent.
The recently built HS Debussy was the first ship of the new joint service to visit the Port of Hamburg. The container freighter of the Hamburg shipping company Hansa Treuhand was built at the Chengxi shipyard in Shanghai. It is 231 meters long and 32.2 meters wide, and has a slot capacity of 3,530 TEUs as well as 400 connections for refrigerated containers.
Seven vessels in all, with a slot capacity ranging from 3,400 to 5,100 standard containers (TEU), are currently deployed in the ISES service. Besides the charter vessels HS Debussy and SCI Kolkata (ex ER SYDNEY), SCI is using two recently built ships under its own ownership, the SCI Chennai and SCI Mumbai.
These are supplemented by three MSC vessels, the Bellavia, the Octavia and the MSC Antwerp.
On leaving Hamburg the HS Debussy visits the ports of Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Port Said, Jeddah, Colombo, Mumbai (Nhava Sheva) and Mundra, before setting out on the return journey to the Hanseatic city by way of Salalah, Port Said and Barcelona. The entire round trip takes 49 days.
Consignments between the Port of Hamburg and the India-Pakistan and Middle East (Red Sea and Persian Gulf) trading areas came to 282,000 and 300,000 TEU respectively in the year 2008. Taken together that makes up around six percent of all the container loads handled at the Port.