Grand Alliance adds Vietnam/USEC call
Grand Alliance carriers Hapag-Lloyd, NYK Line and OOCL said Monday they will add a direct Vietnam call at the Cai Mep deepwater port to their Asia East Coast Express (AEX) service, starting Jan. 9.
They become the second alliance to offer direct connections from Vietnam's newest port complex to the U.S. East Coast. In July the CKYH carrier (COSCO, 'K' Line, Yang Ming, and Hanjin Shipping) added a connection from Cai Mep to Norfolk, New York and Halifax on their round-the-world AWE-4 service.
The Grand Alliance service transits both ways via the Suez Canal and has stops at several transshipment hubs between Vietnam and North America. The port rotation will be Cai Mep, Laem Chabang, Singapore, Colombo, Cagliari, Halifax, New York, Savannah, Norfolk, New York, Halifax, Cagliari, Jeddah, Colombo, Singapore and Cai Mep.
The Grand Alliance service has double stops in New York and Halifax (which the CKYH service doesn't) and uses ships with an average capacity of 5,500 TEUs (compared to the 3,850-TEU 'K' Line ships used for the CKYH service).
The Grand Alliance said it will use 10 ships instead of the nine deployed currently when the revised rotation takes effect.
Both the CKYH and New World alliances offer direct services from Cai Mep to the U.S. West Coast, but New World Alliance carriers (APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and MOL) transship Vietnam/U.S. East Coast cargo in Singapore.
The Cai Mep container port complex is Vietnam’s biggest and the only deepwater complex in the country. It’s about 65 miles from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s biggest city and its financial and trade hub.