Grand adds Cai Mep to transpacific loop
The Grand Alliance in late April will add a call at Cai Mep, Vietnam's first deepwater container port, to its SCX service.
Alliance carriers Hapag-Lloyd, NYK Line and OOCL will also add an eighth ship to the SCX. The extra ship will allow the service to be slow-steamed. It has operated with seven vessels averaging 6,367 TEUs, all provided by NYK Line.
As for the Cai Mep call, according to American Shipper affiliate ComPair Data, the new SCX rotation will be Singapore, Kobe, Nagoya, Tokyo, Sendai, Los Angeles, Oakland, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Kaohsiung, Shekou, Cai Mep, Laem Chabang and Singapore.
It would be the sixth service to call North America directly from Cai Mep. However, the placement of Cai Mep on the backhaul of the rotation means transit times from Cai Mep to Los Angeles are uncompetitive compared to those offered by New World and CKYH alliance services.
According to ComPair Data, the transit time from Cai Mep to Los Angeles would be 25 days, compared to 16 to 20 days for more direct links, and 'even longer than the current transshipment service to Los Angeles via Singapore,' said maritime news service Alphaliner.
The Grand Alliance offers a direct connection from Cai Mep to the U.S. East Coast through its AEX service, with a 30-day transit time from Cai Mep to New York, via the Suez Canal), but this would be the first Grand Alliance service to directly connect the Vietnamese port to the U.S. West Coast.
According to American Shipper affiliate ComPair Data, there are four other services that link Cai Mep direct to the United States:
' The New World Alliance's PS1, with an 18-day transit from Cai Mep to Seattle.
' The New World Alliance's PSX, with an 18-day transit from Cai Mep to Los Angeles.
' The CKYH's SJX, with a 16-day transit from Cai Mep to Long Beach.
' The CKYH's AWE-4, with a 27-day transit from Cai Mep to Norfolk via the Panama Canal. ' Eric Johnson