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American Shipper

Grand Alliance confirms additional capacity for Pacific, Asia/Europe

Grand Alliance confirms additional capacity for Pacific, Asia/Europe

   Grand Alliance carriers Hapag-Lloyd, Malaysia International Shipping Corp., Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Orient Overseas Container Line and P&O Nedlloyd confirmed they will start an 11th transpacific container service and an eighth Asia/Europe service in the next few weeks.

   As with other carriers, the alliance's shipping lines will target U.S. and Canadian Pacific Northwest ports when adding ship capacity to their transpacific operations. A new “Northwest Express Service” (NWX) loop, expected to start from Ningbo, China July 10, will call at Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Pusan, Seattle and Vancouver.

   The weekly Asia/Pacific Northwest service will employ five ships of 2,900-TEU capacities with round voyage durations of 35 days.

   In the Asia/Europe trade, the Grand Alliance will start a “loop F” service about July 10. This service is expected to start from Shanghai with the sailing of the “NYK Procyon,” initially with a fortnightly frequency, according to published schedule data. “Loop F” will call at Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Singapore, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Southampton, Gioia Tauro, Singapore, Xiamen and back to Shanghai.

   The Amsterdam call is new for the alliance, whose member NYK owns half of the Ceres Amsterdam terminal in that port.

   The “loop F” service will eventually employ eight vessels of about 4,500 TEUs.

   “The Grand Alliance has decided to expand its service network to keep pace with the continued growth in global container traffic,” the alliance carriers said in a joint statement.

   In addition to the two additional services, the alliance will add an eastbound call at Amsterdam to its “loop A” service between Asia and Europe. In the Mediterranean, “loop M” will change ports in Italy from La Spezia to Genoa.

   “On the transpacific route, in anticipation of congestion during the 2005-2006 U.S. West Coast peak season, rotations have been streamlined and improved,” the alliance added.

   The alliance plans to reduce the number of ports of call per service in some of its services to avoid delays.

   Malaysia International Shipping is expected to be involved in the new Asia/Europe service but not in the transpacific joint service of the Grand Alliance.