MSC Ines
Photo: VesselFinder

More capacity is set to be added to the burgeoning Asia-Mexico tradelane: today MSC announced a new standalone shuttle service between South China and the Mexican ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo.

The company said the Dahlia service would provide customers with “a premium loop rotation serving South China to Mexico trade as well as additional network coverage and frequency between Asia and Mexico”.

The service will begin with the departure of the 5,600 teu MSC Floriana VI from Shekou on 3 August on a full port rotation of Shekou-Xiamen-Shanghai-Busan-Manzanillo-Lazaro Cardenas.

Details of other vessels planned for the service have yet to be released by MSC, its accompanying Mexicas service deploys seven ships to maintain a weekly schedule.

MSC added that the launch of the Dahlia had allowed it to reshuffle the Mexicas string “with an additional call at Tianjin Xingang to ensure operational synergies”, it said.

The revised Mexicas port rotation is Tianjin Xingang-Qingdao-Ningbo-Busan-Manzanillo-Lazaro Cardenas, with the first sailing of the new proforma route the 3 August departure of the 9,100 teu MSC Ines from Tianjin.

There has been a flurry of new services from Asia into Mexico in recent weeks, prompting analysts to question whether Chinese exporters are using the Central American country as an alternate gateway to the US, avoiding punitive tariffs.

Last week, Xeneta chief analyst Peter Sand told delegates at the TOC Europe 24 event in Rotterdam: “Is this is the ugly face of the tariff wars? For example – are the Chinese building up strategic stocks of manufactured goods around the world?

“Especially Mexico – in the first four months of this year, China-Mexico volumes are up 34% year on year and the Shanghai-Manzanillo freight rate is currently at $6,164 per 40ft, compared with $5,279 into Long Beach and $5,203 into Vancouver,” he added.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.