Four of the world’s biggest container transportation and shipping companies plan to launch a new joint service connecting Northeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand in early November.
The weekly service to be provided by CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines, OOCL and PIL will offer a turnaround time of seven weeks.
The new service will have a port rotation through Shanghai, Ningbo, Chiwan and Kaohsiung in China; Brisbane, Australia; Auckland, Port Chalmers, Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga, New Zealand; Hong Kong; Shekou, China; Keelung, Taiwan; and back to Shanghai.
It will be operated with seven vessels, each with capacities of 4,250 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). Three of the vessels will be provided by CMA CGM, two by OOCL and one each by CSCL and PIL. ANL will remain a slot charterer.
The service will replace the current ANZEX/NZN service operated by CMA CGM and OOCL.
CMA CGM said it will continue to offer services to Fiji and Nouméa, New Caledonia, with a different setup that will be released by the end of the month after final arrangements are made.
Growing trade between Asia and Oceania
“The reshaped rotation in Asia will not only focus on Central and Northeast Asia, but will also improve our offer from Southeast Asia on the southbound leg,” said Xavier Eiglier, CMA CGM’s vice president of the Antilles-Guyane, Indian Ocean and Oceania regions, in a statement. “While we are adding a call in Australia, contributing to a healthy growth for CMA CGM on the Asia-Australia trade, we will retake the five ports in the New Zealand that have been covered by the current ANZEX so far, reaffirming our willingness and commitment to provide a wide and serious offer to our valuable shippers with a fast and direct service between New Zealand and the Far East.”
Kerry Logistics said it aims to tap growing trade between Asia and Oceania, and between Australia and New Zealand, through a joint venture with a New Zealand-based global freight forwarding company.
The pace of larger ships cascading from east-west trades into the north-south trades has been increasing, including in the Asia-Australia lane, according to Drewry.
Ship sizes in the Asia-Australia route have increased 8 percent on average to 4,365 TEUs during the 12-month period between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of 2013, and have kept growing since.
By the fourth quarter of last year, the average vessel size was 4,650 TEUs, and by January 2014, the average size was 4,900 TEUs, Drewry said. As a result, rates in the Asia-Australia lane are increasingly volatile, swinging as much as 50 percent in the first quarter of 2014.