Israel, Egypt, and Turkey are key markets for trade with Northern Europe. Therefore, Ocean freight plays a crucial part in connecting these regions.

The economic ties between Israel and Northern Europe are particularly strong, underscoring the importance of an efficient and reliable Ocean freight network. Israel, renowned for its innovation and diverse economy, exports a wide range of products to Northern Europe. Notable segments include technology and electronics, agricultural products such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers, as well as chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

To ensure swift transit times, dependable schedules, and further integration of the Northern Europe region with the Levant area, Sealand - A Maersk Company now includes Antwerp (Belgium) and Haifa (Israel) in the rotation of the North Sea/SLB service.

Antwerp as a crucial link to the European hinterland

The port of Antwerp is a decisive factor within the intra-European market. Situated 80 kilometers inland, it offers the fastest and most cost-effective connection to the European hinterland, with direct access to Benelux, Northern France, Switzerland, and a significant area of Germany.

The strategic location of Antwerp positions it as an important interface between global trade and the European hinterland. Utilising an extensive waterway network, the inland port effectively connects various regions, with the Rhine River and its tributaries serving as vital waterways. Inland vessels, known for their high cargo capacity, cost efficiency, and environmental sustainability, utilise these waterways to transport goods to and from the port and inland destinations. Leveraging this well-established network of inland waterway connections, the Antwerp efficiently manages increasing trade volumes, thereby enhancing its competitive advantage.

Consequently, Antwerp offers distinct advantages over Rotterdam for many companies, especially those in the chemical industry. In recent years, Antwerp has made significant investments in infrastructure and intermodal connectivity, further strengthening its barge connections across the Rhine. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, a multitude of terminals within the port ensures efficient handling of diverse cargo types.

Haifa port: gateway to Northern Israel

On the Levantine side of the route, the inclusion of the Port of Haifa marks a significant addition. As Israel's largest and most vital port, Haifa serves as a regional transshipment hub. Nestled in a natural, protected bay in Northern Israel, the port features numerous terminals capable of accommodating all types of cargo, including large passenger ships.

With cargo terminals and the presence of a Rail freight terminal, the Port of Haifa facilitates nationwide freight transportation and offers a direct link to Israel's hinterland. Northern Israel, serving as the country's industrial center, relies on Haifa as a crucial gateway for dry exports and citrus fruit exports, which exhibit minimal seasonal fluctuations throughout the year. By connecting the port directly to the SLB service, export goods from this region will enjoy expedited and simplified transportation to Northern Europe.

Conversely, Israel primarily relies on imports, leading to lower Ocean freight rates compared to other Eastern Mediterranean countries. The inclusion of Haifa in the rotation allows customers to benefit from this cost advantage. Additionally, Israel's thriving startup ecosystem presents considerable opportunities for companies in the chemical industry.


New rotation starts from 18 July

The first service with both new ports will be launched on 18 July. The updated port rotation for the SLB service will be as follows:

London > Rotterdam > Antwerp > Bremerhaven > Ashdod > Haifa > Alexandria > Port Said

The MAERSK IZMIR 326NB/329SB vessel will initiate the new rotation, departing from London. The first calls in Antwerp and Haifa will take place on 21 July and 15 July, respectively.

Click here to learn more about the SLB service.

The inclusion of the two new ports will significantly enhance the route, resulting in an improved and more efficient Ocean freight connection between Northern Europe and the Levant region. Furthermore, this upgrade will facilitate cost-effective shipments, ensuring a seamless and reliable transportation experience.

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