CHINA SHIPPING ENTERS MED/U.S. TRADE
China Shipping Container Lines, the expansionist shipping group, will enter the Mediterranean/U.S. container trade in April with a fortnightly service.
The Chinese carrier plans to operate two 2,000-TEU vessels in the service. The rotation of the operation has not been finalized. Ports of call under consideration are Genoa, Leghorn, Fos, Valencia, New York and Norfolk.
In June, the fortnightly service will be upgraded to a weekly frequency and will changed into a U.S. East Coast/Mediterranean/Suez/Asia/Suez/Mediterranean/U.S. East Coast rotation. The revised operation will merge the U.S./Mediterranean service with an existing MediterraneanSuez/Asia service.
From June, the U.S./Mediterranean/Suez/Asia/Suez/Mediterranean/U.S.
weekly service is expected to employ 10 vessels of about 2,000-TEU capacity, China Shipping said.
A spokesman for China Shipping said that a study to extend the service across the Panama canal to Asia is also under consideration.
Meanwhile, China Shipping has postponed its plan to enter the northern Europe/U.S. trade in June. The carrier still wants to move into the trade, but the start of its northern Europe/U.S. service has now been earmarked for the fall of this year.
China Shipping is one of many carriers that are adding capacity to the U.S./Mediterranean container trade. In February, Hapag-Lloyd, P&O Nedlloyd and Zim Israel Navigation launched a fortnightly service in February with vessels of 1,500 TEUs, while Lykes Lines and TMM upgraded their U.S. Gulf/Mediterranean services from a 9-day to an 8-day frequency and introduced larger vessels of about 2,200-TEU capacity, according to the global liner shipping database ComPairData.