APL announced on 20th October that it was launching a new Korea China Straits (KCS) service to serve the key Asian markets of China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines on 18th November. The first weekly southbound sailing departed from Dalian with a port rotation of Dalian, Xingang, Lianyungang, Kwangyang, Pusan, Shanghai, Nansha, Singapore, Port Klang, Jakarta, Surabaya and Manila. The KCS service will reinforce APL’s footprint in Intra-Asia where the carrier seeks to fortify its presence as a leading ocean carrier. The offering injects new capacity that allows APL to transport shipments from North Asia to its network of ports across Southeast Asia. The service will be operated with five Panamax vessels through a Vessel Sharing Agreement with Cheng Lie Navigation. APL declared on 8th November the enhancement of five Asia-India Subcontinent services. A faster turnaround and transit time will characterise the enhanced route profiles. In particular, the Asia Subcontinent Express (AS1) service is being revamped into two services, AS1 and Asia Subcontinent Express 3 (AS3). This will shorten the current 49-day round trip of the AS1 service to 42 days while the AS3 service will cover its loop in 35 days. On 5th December APL commenced new CP1 and CP2 services from Hong Kong with a CP3 service commencing prior to this from Yantian on 23rd November. The three new weekly China-Philippines Loop services enhance APL’s coverage between South China and the Philippines.

CMA CGM revealed on 19th October that it planned to launch the Mtwara Express Service for the Tanzanian cashew season on 1st November, complementing to the 6 current direct East Africa services. Fully operated by CMA CGM Group, the service used 3 vessels up to 2,700 TEU nominal capacity with departures on 1st/15th/29th November. CMA CGM chartered the 89,097gt/2005 built 8,063 TEU capacity OOCL Tianjin from Global Ship Lease, renamed as the GSL Tianjin, as from 25th October for 8 months. GSL acquired the OOCL Tianjin from OOCL for $55m in 2014 on a 3-year charter back deal. CMA CGM has also acquired two 6,500-TEU vessels from Germany’s Hansa Treuhand. The ships are the 75,015gt/2012 built HS Paris & 75,015gt/2014 built HS Rome. Both vessels are already operated by CMA CGM via a charter agreement and, when acquired, the HS Rome was sailing on the OCEAN Alliance Victory Bridge service and the HS Paris is sailing on the North Europe/ South Med service jointly operated by Hamburg Sud, Seago Line and CMA CGM.

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Cool Carriers will bring its Coolman Central America and West Indies service to Dover Cargo Terminal for onward distribution to UK and European markets from January 2018. The company, which has invested heavily in boosting both the palletised and container capacities of its fleet, says its decision was prompted in part by the Port’s flagship Dover Western Docks Revival project which will create a new cargo terminal and logistics hub plus the requirements for the efficient handling of the new vessels which will enter service in early 2020. Cool Carriers will predominantly ship bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica, Colombia and the Dominican Republic to Dover. The port’s current facilities include a dedicated berth in excess of 180m, 130 reefer plug-in points, and temperature controlled storage for 7,500 pallets. The new facilities in the western docks, due to come on stream towards the end of 2018, will include two new cargo berths (251m and up to 350m); a cargo terminal building with eight temperature controlled compartments, each capable of holding cargo between +1 and +14 degrees Celsius; and significant mobile harbour cranes capable of handling up to post panama size vessels.

Evergreen has joined Cosco and Yang Ming to boost the Northern Europe-Mediterranean services by way of a new Europe-Med Express (EMX) service. The route utilises five ships of 4,250 TEU capacity, one provided by Evergreen and YML respectively and the remaining three by Cosco. The first departure was from Rotterdam on 27th November and the port rotation is: Rotterdam-Felixstowe- Hamburg-Antwerp-Casablanca-Piraeus-Alexandria-Haifa-Mersin-Piraeus-Casablanca and Rotterdam. The service allows Evergreen to provide a direct connection from northern Europe to the Mediterranean, particularly to and from Morocco, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.

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