Thursday, April 15, 2010

COSCO to Add Transpac Capacity

Chinese ocean carrier COSCO Container Lines announced Tuesday that it plans to restore a total of 12,000 TEUs of capacity to its CEN transpacific service.

COSCO said the CEN service, which rotates between Northern China and the North American West Coast, will see its current six 5,500 TEU vessels swapped for six 7,500 TEU vessels. The expanded service, which will also add Ningbo as the last westbound Asia call, will begin phasing in the larger vessel on April 24 with all six expected to be in service by the end of May. COSCO operates the service as part of the CKYH Alliance, which also includes ocean carriers “K” Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin.

"Although we are still in a very challenging market financially, we have had many requests from both importers and exporters to restore capacity on this popular trade route and to consider adding a Ningbo call and we have heeded their advice," said a spokesman for COSCO Americas.

"It should be noted however, that we are still in a precarious position as far as current freight levels and the rising cost of moving cargo. We are cautiously optimistic that we will see some freight growth this year and hope that freight levels can increase to the point that further capacity can return to our transpacific services," he said.

The expanded CEN westbound rotation will be: Dalian, Xingang/Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Prince Rupert, and Long Beach.

The eastbound rotation will be: Long Beach, Oakland, Yokohama and Dalian.