Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grand China Expands Transpac Services With New Loop

Less than four weeks after ceremonies at the Port of Long Beach inaugurated its first transpacific service, ocean carrier Grand China Shipping (GCS) is expanding the service into two loops, with new coverage including Korea and the Port of Oakland.

Grand China launched its first transpacific service – the Super Pacific Express (SPX) – on April 26 with five 2,700-TEU vessels and a rotation of Hong Kong, Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Long Beach, Hong Kong. Under the new configuration, the SPX rotation will be Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Long Beach, Oakland and Ningbo.

A new second GCS transpacific loop, to be called the Pearl River Pacific Express (PPX), will utilize five 2,500-TEU vessels in a rotation of Xiamen, Hong Kong, Yantian, Long Beach and Oakland.

Grand China Shipping operates a fleet of 23 container ships with a total capacity of 37,000 TEUs and is, according to the carrier, ranked 33rd among the world's biggest container lines.

The SPX and PPX services are the first major expansion out of the intra-Asia trade for the four-year-old start-up carrier.

In the past year, total weekly container capacity in the transpacific services has grown by nearly 70,000 TEUs to just under 260,000 TEUs. Close to a quarter of this added weekly capacity is due to the addition of services by relative newcomers to the Asia-West Coast trade, including GCS, Hainan Pan Ocean Shipping, and T.S. Lines. Additional capacity has been added by established providers such as Grand Alliance member lines Hapag-Lloyd, NYK and OOCL and New World Alliance members APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and MOL, which have resumed transpacific services that were either abandoned during the economic downturn or shuttered during the slack season.