Global shipping giant Maersk Line has revealed that it has made a number of changes to its Asia-Europe network in a bid to combat soaring costs in the current economic climate.

'The current Asia-Europe market is characterised by unsustainable ratelevels,' said Robert Kledal, vice-president and head of productmanagement at Maersk Line. 'The changes will support our marketposition and ensure that our network is sustainable in the long term.Thereby we can continue to offer our customers an extensive andreliable service network in the Asia-Europe trade.'

As part of the reshuffle, the group has moved to temporarily suspend its AE8 service, adjusting its Asia-northern Europe capacity and removing 7,600 TEU per week from its network.

AE8 port calls will be moved to other services, the group said, with Aarhuis, Dunkirk, Gothenburg and Valencia incorporated into the AE10 service, and Hamburg continuing as part of the AE1 service.

'We are continuously optimising our network and looking for ways to make our operations more cost effective and competitive,' Mr Kledal added. 'We believe the changes that we have announced show that it is possible to adjust capacity and at the same time maintain and even expand our service level and coverage.'

Visit the Maersk Line website for a full list of new rotations on Asia-Europe services and initial vessel departure dates.