• ITVI.USA
    15,353.780
    -79.690
    -0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.732
    0.005
    0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.880
    0.030
    0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,332.660
    -75.700
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.280
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.190
    0.050
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.560
    -0.030
    -1.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.420
    0.090
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.220
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,353.780
    -79.690
    -0.5%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.732
    0.005
    0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.880
    0.030
    0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,332.660
    -75.700
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.280
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.190
    0.050
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.560
    -0.030
    -1.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.420
    0.090
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.220
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American ShipperShipping

NEWS FLASH: 2M Alliance to launch new Asia-U.S. Gulf service

The 2M Alliance, comprised of ocean carriers Maersk Line and MSC, will also add a call in New York to another one of its loops between Asia and the U.S. East Coast.

   The 2M Alliance, comprised of ocean carriers Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), will launch a new service between Asia and the United States Gulf and East Coast.
   The new loop, which MSC calls the “Lone Star Express” and Maersk calls TP18, will commence operations May 2 from Qingdao with an as-yet-unnamed ship. The loop will have a rotation of Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Busan, Cristobal, Houston, Mobile, Miami, Balboa, Busan and Qingdao. It will use ships with capacity of about 4,500-5,000 TEU.
   “We have not decided which vessels (MSC or Maersk) will be deployed on the string, we presume it will be a mix from both carriers,” and MSC spokesman said.
   The new service “is positioned to be a high-quality, reliable service option for the projected increase in resin exports out of the Port of Houston,” Maersk said in a statement. “There has been marked growth in polyethylene resin pellet production in recent years due to the rise in natural gas production. The result is a more competitive environment for U.S. plastics in the global marketplace.”
   The Lone Star Express/TP18 is “also well positioned to support imports destined for consumer markets and the strong commercial region in the Gulf. In addition, wood pulp exporters out of Mobile will have a dependable service option for their cargo needs. In 2015, Wood pulp was the top export commodity at the Port of Mobile,” the carrier added.
   “I am pleased that Maersk Line is initiating an all-water Pacific Service from the U.S. Gulf,” said William M. Staib, President and CEO, Unitcargo Container Line, Inc. “The export marketplace from Houston to China is growing with the onset of new resin production capacity in the region.
   “The current carrier services are insufficient to meet this burgeoning demand,” he added. “I strongly believe that a new Maersk service will help fill some of this void.”
   “Maersk Line is committed to delivering a consistent, all-water service to shippers between the U.S. Gulf and Asia. We’ve worked to ensure there’s an adequate supply of container equipment in place, in Houston in particular, to make this service a dependable supply chain choice,” said Mike White, President of Maersk Line North America.
    At the same time, a 2M service between the Far East and the East Coast of North America that also transits the Panama Canal will add a New York call. Maersk calls the service the TP10 and MSC plans to change its name from “Everglades” to “Amberjack.” The average size of ships in this service is 4,432 TEUs, according to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting
   The Amberjack loop will have a rotation of Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Busan, Savannah, New York, Charleston, Jacksonville, Freeport and Tianjin. The first sailing of the newly launched TP10/Amberjack will be with the May 6 sailing of the Grasmere Maersk from Tianjin.
   The Grasmere Maersk has a capacity of 4,658 TEUs, according to BlueWater Reporting.
    U.S. East Coast and Gulf ports in general are expected to get a boost in traffic when the new locks open in the Panama Canal later this summer, allowing passage of larger ships.
   “After the canal is upgraded we have not decided what ships will be deployed and if there will be any change,” the MSC spokesman added.
   MSC noted the 2M Alliance also has two trans-Suez services between  the Far East and the U.S. East Coast, and both already call New York. The TP11/America has an average vessel capacity of 8,369 TEUs, while the TP12/Empire has an average vessel capacity of 8,635 TEUs, according to BlueWater Reporting.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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