Contship Containerlines, CGM and Marfret have joined forces to provide an improved round-the-world container service. The service, inaugurated at Britain's Tilbury port this week, is being operated by eight 2,200-teu (20 ft equivalent units) newbuildings, improving the sailing frequency to a 10-day schedule. Previously, Contship's Ocean Star Service had seven 1,800-teu vessels to provide a fortnightly westbound round-the-world service while CGM and Marfret's Tour de Monde Service had six vessels with an average 1,600-teu capacity to provide a 16-day service frequency. Contship's commercial director, David Halliday, said: 'Our revised service product enables us to enhance the frequency of our existing operation, as well as serve new markets.' The larger and faster ships would allow consortium members to save at least a week on transit times between Europe and Australia and between the United States and Australasia. The service allows the partners to significantly improve transit times on key legs, including Europe to New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands of Tahiti and New Caledonia, and from the US to Australia and New Zealand. Contship will provide four of the new ships and CGM and Marfret the remainder. Each party will continue to operate its own sales and marketing organisations. The improved service will follow a westbound rotation covering ports in Britain and northwest Europe, US East Coast, South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and Asia, returning to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal. Contship will also make northbound calls at Brisbane and Jakarta. Auckland switches position with Noumea in the overall sailing schedule. In October, Contship Containerlines became part of the CP Ships group.