By Leo Ryan, AJOT

Halifax has been selected to be the first North American port of call on China Shipping’s new round-the-world service, following the Canadian port’s recent Asia trade mission promoting itself as an alternative to capacity-stretched West Coast ports.

The new service is being launched from the Far East on July 20, with the Halifax call scheduled for August 22.

The Nova Scotia deepwater port is seeking to capture cargo from West Coast ports struggling to handle sharply-increased volumes for shipping exports of Asian goods to North America and inland markets. In this connection, a group of major Canadian retailers began routing in early July an estimated 4,000 teus annually of import goods from Southeast Asia and the Indian Sub-continent.

“CSCL established its Canadian operation with the opening of its Vancouver head office in April 2000, and over the past five years has continuously enhanced its overall service quality to Canadian importers and exporters,” said China Shipping (Canada) Agency Company Limited.

The carrier’s Far East/Med/North America service will be operated with 10 new 4,250-teu container vessels which will transit the Suez Canal and pass through five Mediterranean ports before calling at Halifax. The ships will then proceed to three US East Coast ports before passing through the Panama Canal on the voyage back to the Far East.

The port rotation will be: Ningbo, Shanghai, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Yantian, Port Kelang, Haifa, La Spezia, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Halifax, New York, Norfolk, Charleston, Panama, Ningbo.