Thursday, April 1, 2010

Grand Alliance, Maersk Boost Transpac Capacity

The Grand Alliance and shipping line Maersk have announced they will add at least six additional vessels to their transpacific routes over the next two months, boosting the total per-steaming transpacific capacity by more than 32,000 TEUs.

The moves, along with additional indicators such as three months of across the board cargo volume growth at most United States West Coast ports, have lent credence to the argument that the transpacific lanes are beginning to recover from the global economic meltdown.

Last week, Grand Alliance partners Hapag-Lloyd, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line announced that starting in May they will add a direct call at the deepwater Vietnamese port of Cai Mep to their South China Sea Japan Express, or SCX, service. This will boost the service to eight 6,000 TEU vessels.

The eastbound SCX service port rotation will be: Cai Mep, Vietnam; Laem Chabang, Thailand; Singapore; Kobe; Nagoya; Tokyo; Sendai; and Los Angeles. The westbound rotation will be Oakland; Tokyo; Nagoya; Kobe; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Shekou, China; and, Cai Mep.

Grand Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, NYK and OOCL announced this week that they will revert their CCX service, which had been turned into an inter-Asia loop as part of the Alliance's winter program, back into a transpacific service.

Since December the CCX service's single 4,600-TEU vessel has been confined to inter-Asia service at five Asian ports. Starting May 4, the service will expand to a transpacific rotation utilizing five 6,000-TEU vessels. Along with Grand Alliance members, APL will also utilize slots on the service.

The eastbound CCX rotation will be: Qingdao; Ningbo; Shanghai; Busan; and, Los Angeles. The westbound rotation will be: Oakland; Busan; Qingdao; Ningbo; and, Shanghai.

Ocean carrier Maersk also announced this week that it will add the Vietnamese port of Cai Mep as an additional call on its TP6 eastbound service rotation and begin using at least one 9,000-TEU vessel as part of the 14 vessel fleet allotted to the service.

The reconfigured TP6 eastbound service, utilizing a slow-steaming schedule, will increase from a 16-day whole rotation transit to 22 days. The TP6 westbound rotation, also utilizing a slow-steaming schedule, will tighten from a 28-day full transit to a 25-day full transit.

The TP6 eastbound rotation will include: Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia; Cai Mep, Vietnam; Yantian, China; Hong Kong; and, Los Angeles. The TP6 westbound service will include: Los Angeles; Yokohama; Nagoya; Shanghai; Ningbo; Xiamen; Hong Kong; Yantian; and, Tanjung Pelepas.

On the TP6 westbound rotation, Vietnam will be served via feeder service following transshipment at Hong Kong.