COSCO/YANGMING CONFIRM AMA PENDULUM TO BE REPLACED IN UPGRADING
Senior sources in the COSCO Container Lines/Yangming Lines/”K” Line alliance confirmed that their two new weekly Asia/Mediterranean and Mediterranean/U.S. East Coast services will replace the existing weekly “AMA” Asia/Mediterranean/U.S.East Coast “pendulum” service operated mainly by COSCO, in partnership with Yangming.
As part of the overall service enhancement beginning in April, “K” Line is entering these trade routes for the first time.
The replacement of the pendulum with two shorter services is linked to the start-up, at the same time, of a new more direct Asia/U.S. East Coast service, via Panama, by the same three partners, the sources confirmed.
Pendulums need fewer ships, a Yangming spokesman confirmed, but they always pose conflicts over the choice of ship sizes. In this case there were added equipment costs as well, with Asia/U.S trades needing a 75 percent 40-foot container ratio, while the Mediterranean trades need only 50 percent, he said.
The new all-water U.S. East Coast service via Panama will be slower than the rail landbridge via West Coast ports,Yangming said, but the COSCO/Yangming/”K” Line alliance plans an express eastbound schedule, calling first in New York. The high rail costs involved with the landbridge route definitely exceed the higher vessel costs of the route via Panama, he said.
Shippers who think in terms of a supply pipeline are usually more interested in reliablility than speed, the spokesman said. The new all-water service should see savings of $400 to $500 per 40-foot passed on to shippers, he said.