Wan Hai 216 Credit VesselFinder
Credit VesselFinder

Wan Hai Lines has killed rumours it was about to quit the transpacific trade by deploying 8,500-13,100 teu ships to an Asia-US east coast service that will be jointly operated with Hapag-Lloyd.

Long-haul ocean trades attracted several newcomers when rates reached historical highs in 2020 to 2022, but the market correction has seen many of those lines forced out.

And there was speculation that Wan Hai, which had attempted to enter the transpacific trade a decade ago, could quit in the face of falling volumes.

But the carrier has crushed the rumours by consolidating two Asia-USEC services, the AA7 and AA9, into one, to call at Shanghai, Ningbo, Taipei, Shekou, Cai Mep, Singapore, New York, Norfolk and Savannah, returning to Shanghai via the Panama Canal.

The revamped AA7 will lose calls at Colombo, Norfolk, Charleston and Cristobal.

And, from 1 April, Hapag-Lloyd, which had purchased slots on Wan Hai’s US east coast services, will become the AA7’s joint operator.

Currently, Wan Hai operates the AA7 with eleven 4,250 to 7,240 teu ships, but from 1 April, the service will be upsized to a dozen vessels ranging from 8,500 to 13,100 teu. Wan Hai will contribute eight and Hapag-Lloyd four.

The new arrangement will boost employment for the 18 13,100-13,250 teu newbuildings Wan Hai ordered between 2020 and 2022. The carrier has taken delivery of four, three of which are serving the AA3 USEC service, while the other has been assigned to a South America west coast service.

As environmental regulations could see 6%-10% of its fleet removed, Wan Hai is boosting its competitiveness in the transpacific lane by deploying larger ships, while diverting smaller ships to its core intra-Asia lanes.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.