HANJIN PLANS 3RD WEEKLY ASIA/U.S. EAST COAST SERVICE
Hanjin Shipping is planning to introduce a third Asia/U.S. East Coast weekly service via the Panama canal this summer as part of its cooperation with COSCO Container Lines, “K” Line and Yang Ming.
Details of the new operation are not known, but they will likely involve Hanjin taking space on the East Coast services of COSCO, “K” Line and Yang Ming.
Ole Sweedlund, deputy managing director of Hanjin’s North American headquarters, said that the new East Coast service may be introduced at about the same time as potential labor actions on West Coast docks, but he said the two developments were not linked.
Hanjin currently runs the “All Water East Coast” service (AWE) and the “All Water East Coast Pendulum” service (AWP), both via the Panama canal. These services operate between Asia and the ports of New York, Norfolk, Wilmington and Savannah.
Sweedlund said that shippers are considering re-routing cargoes from transpacific West Coast services to all-water East Coast services via the Panama canal or the Suez canal. “(But) there’s a finite amount of space to the East Coast,” he said.
Hanjin Shipping and its sister company Senator Lines also run the “Asia-Middle East -Mediterranean-America” service (AMA), which uses ships of about 2,800-TEU capacity between Asia and U.S. East Coast ports via the Suez canal.
However, Sweedlund also warned of the risk of sympathy labor actions between the West Coast’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the U.S. East Coast ports’ International Longshoremen’s Association.
The ILWU and port employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association will soon start to negotiate a three-year contract to become effective on July 1, when the current agreement expires. Sweedlund, a director of the Pacific Maritime Association, believes that strikes on West Coast docks can be averted, but said that employers and labor must find more productive ways to utilize capacity in container terminals.