Port Houston will be the first U.S. port of call in THE Alliance’s new direct Asia service.
The trans-Pacific EC6 service will begin in Kaohsiung, China, and reach the U.S. Gulf Coast through the Panama Canal.
“We are very excited about the start of this new service by THE Alliance. It offers our regional exporters and importers new options,” Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther said in a statement.
The EC6 service will call the Chinese ports of Hong Kong, Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai and Pusan before sailing through the Panama Canal to Houston. The service will then make stops in New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, before returning to Kaohsiung.
“With the introduction of the EC6, HMM is delighted to add direct coverage between Asia and Port Houston to our expanding global service portfolio,” Jay Y. Lee, chairman and CEO of HMM America Inc., said in a statement.
“The EC6 will allow us to better serve our current customers who have voiced their desire for options between the U.S. Gulf and Asia as well as open up a growing market for us,” Lee said.
THE Alliance was founded in 2017 by German ocean container carrier Hapag-Lloyd. The space-sharing network, in addition to HMM, consists of Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Yang Ming.
The new EC6 service is part of an adjustment of THE Alliance’s overall network, officials said. THE Alliance made changes to offer customers more capacity in trade lanes with the greatest demand.
“Hapag-Lloyd has had a long presence in Houston and the Gulf. Port Houston is a great partner and is among the best terminal operators in North America,” stated Uffe Ostergaard, president of Hapag-Lloyd North America. “The new EC6 service will provide a new premium solution to our customers in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and the Southern U.S.”
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