Shipping lines Yang Ming (YM), United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) are merging their two current trans-Pacific services into a tripartite joint service to adjust to the expected weak demand in winter.
The PSW4 service of YM and the joint AAS2/AWS1 service of CSCL and UASC on the Asia-West Coast of North America trade will be merged into the PSW4/AAS2/AWS1.
The PSW4/AAS2/AWS1 service will employ six 4,250-TEU vessels, of which three will be operated by YM, two by UASC, and one by CSCL.
The first sailing under the merged structure departs Xiamen on December 6, 2013. The revised port rotation will be Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Oakland, and back to Xiamen.
In addition, the three ocean carriers are entering a slot swap agreement on the same trade. The slot swap will involve CSCL and UASC taking slots in YM’s existing PSW2 service, and YM taking slots in CSCL’s AAC service.
The PSW2 service will be marketed as AAS3 by CSCL and as AWS3 by UASC with this port rotation: Hong Kong, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Keelung, Los Angeles, Oakland, Busan, Kwangyang, Keelung, Kaohsiung, and Hong Kong.
The port rotation of the AAC service is Qingdao, Lianyungang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Busan, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Qingdao.
“The YM/CSCL/UASC tripartite cooperation in this trade enables a more cost efficient and flexible network and will continue to provide the comprehensive coverage and frequency in West Coast of North America trade,” a YM statement said.
In related developments, Yang Ming announced that it will introduce a new direct joint service with Wan Hai linking the Northeast Asia ports of Japan, Korea, and China with the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam.
The new KCV service will deploy three container ships, each with a capacity of 1,200 TEUs, and will have its maiden voyage on November 29, 2013 from Shanghai.
The 21-day round-trip service will be making regular calls in Osaka, Kobe, Kwangyang, Busan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shekou, Ho Chi Minh, Shekou, Hong Kong, and Osaka.