GRAND ALLIANCE TO ADD ASIA/NORTH EUROPE LOOP
The Grand Alliance of Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, OOCL and P&O Nedlloyd is planning to add one extra weekly service in the Asia/northern Europe trade.
The Grand Alliance will add a fifth weekly Asia/northern Europe service this year. The ports of call and vessels of the service are still under discussion by the alliance, but the service is likely to focus on mainland China, said Ted Wang, chairman and managing director of OOCL (Europe) Ltd. Direct calls at Indian subcontinent ports within the new service are also under consideration.
The Grand Alliance, the biggest alliance in the Asia/Europe trade, operates five weekly Asia/northern Europe services and one Asia/Mediterranean service.
Plans to deploy more capacity on the Asia/Europe route are part of a move by ocean carriers to take delivery of a large number of new containerships during the current year. CMA CGM will take delivery this year of eight 6,500-TEU containerships for the Asia/northern Europe trade that will replace vessels of about 4,100-TEU capacity.
New World Alliance of APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines are expected to introduce a fourth service between Asia and northern Europe, according to industry sources. At present, APL, Hyundai and MOL run three Asia/northern Europe loops and one Asia/Mediterranean service each week.
The high-volume Asia/Europe trade is forecast to grow by more than 10 percent this year.