The “NYK Lodestar” recently docked at the HHLA Container-Terminal Altenwerder (CTA). Her cargo included containers shipped directly from Vietnam, to be unloaded in Hamburg. The “NYK Lodestar” was the first vessel of the Grand Alliance consortium of shipping companies to call at the Vietnamese deep-water port of Cai Mep, located about 60 kilometres southeast of Ho-Chi-Minh City, as part of their Asia-Europe service.

The Grand Alliance, which includes the Japanese container shipping company NYK Line as well as Hapag-Lloyd and the Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), until now had transhipped Vietnamese cargo via Singapore to northern Europe. With this new direct connection, the partner shipping companies are responding to the growing volume of freight from the southeast Asian countries and the increasing demand for shorter transit times.

“The manufacture of textiles, shoes and small furniture has developed into a rapidly growing, high-volume core industry in Vietnam,” explains Klaus-Peter Barth, Managing Director of NYK Line (Deutschland) GmbH. “With a transit time of only 25 days from Cai Mep to Hamburg, we are now providing our customers a most attractive transport option, with weekly departures.

The rotation in Loop D of the Asia-Europe service includes the following ports: Busan (South Korea), Qingdao (China), Shanghai (China), Ningbo (China), Shekou (China), Yantian (China), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Singapore, Suez Canal, Southampton (Great Britain), Le Havre (France), Hamburg (Germany), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Suez Canal, Singapore, Shanghai, Busan.

After around 2,300 container moves, the “NYK Lodestar” will departed the CTA. The ship, built in 2001 by the Samsung Shipyard Geoje Island in South Korea, is just under 300 metres in length and has a deadweight tonnage of 75,200 GRT and slot capacity of 6,422 TEU.