© Mariusz Bugno

Wan Hai and Cosco have started new transpacific services in response to rising freight rates.

Wan Hai’s new service, the Asia America I (AA1), connecting Shekou, Qingdao, Ningbo and Long Beach, began on Monday with the 3,013 teu Wan Hai 361 collecting containers in Shekou. Six 3,000-4,530 teu vessels will work on a six-week turnaround.

Alphaliner said Wan Hai was the first liner operator to react to the strong transpacific market, which saw Asia-US west coast rates gaining 19% week on week, to $6,168 per 40ft on 31 May. Rates have nearly doubled from April, due to tight vessel and equipment availability.

AA1, which focuses on the Chinese market, complements Wan Hai’s AP1 joint service with ONE, which connects Vietnam, China and Taiwan with Los Angeles and Oakland, and coincides with the delivery of Wan Hai A16, the ninth of its 13 13,000 teu newbuildings.

Wan Hai GM Tommy Hsieh hinted at a shareholders’ meeting last week that the company would expand its transpacific and Asia-South America services to maximise revenue. He claimed that the company owned 85% of its containers and is not severely affected by the well-publicised equipment shortage.

Mr Hsieh said: “Currently, the transpacific and South American routes are Wan Hai’s largest source of revenue, although intra-Asia lanes are our main business. As long as there’s no shortage of containers at this stage, Wan Hai will seize business opportunities on both deepsea and shortsea routes.

“Asia-South American routes are prospering and, so far this year, our cargo volume has increased by 20% year on year. However, due to bottlenecks, there is limited room to increase capacity here.”

Meanwhile, on 12 June, Cosco and its subsidiary, OOCL, has launched a China Pacific north-west Vancouver loop (CPV) that will turn in six weeks, with six 4,250-7,100 teu vessels, calling at Ningbo, Shanghai, Vancouver, Seattle and Lianyungang.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.