Tailwind responds to crisis in the Red Sea with additional ships

Lidl’s container carrier Tailwind has secured additional tonnage to compensate for the longer transit time between Asia and Europe.

Supermarket chain Lidl’s liner shipping company, Tailwind Shipping Lines, has taken on additional charter vessels to keep its Asia-Europe service running despite the security crisis in the Red Sea. [ds_preview]

The company has now confirmed to HANSA that the 1,900 TEU vessel “Zhong Gu Dong Hai” has been chartered in the Far East as an extra loader for a round trip to Europe and back. Shipbrokers had reported the completion of the 2019-built freighter to Tailwind at a daily rate of $13,000/day for two to three months.

“With this and other vessels chartered at short notice, we are ensuring that we and our customers have sufficient capacity available despite the longer transit time,” the company said.

Tailwind is already turning in Barcelona with Far East service

Lidl, Tailwind
Tobias König (left) and Christian Stangl explained Lidl’s strategy behind the shipping company Tailwind Shipping Lines at the HANSA Forum 2023 (Photo: Jonas Walzberg)

The shipping company’s China-Europe service (“Panda Service”) is now routed around the Cape of Good Hope instead of through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal due to the attacks on merchant shipping by the Houthi rebels. This extends the transit time by more than a week.

In order to maintain the existing departure frequency, Tailwind has also set up a transhipment system in Europe. This means that the larger container ships coming from Asia will only sail as far as Barcelona. The other two ports of Moerdijk and Koper are served from there by smaller feeder ships. This allows the large freighters to turn faster and return to Asia.

Among others, Tailwind uses the “Wilhelmine” (1,102 TEU) for the transshipment journeys. According to chartering brokers, the Lidl shipping company has contracted the CV1100 type, which was built in 2006, at short notice for around €7,500/day. (mph)

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Caption: The "Panda 001" from Tailwind Shipping Lines docks in the port of Koper/Slovenia