China Shipping inaugurates new Asia-East Coast service

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Liner Shipping  

China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) is phasing in an independent new all-water East Coast service from Asia that will improve overall transit times and double capacity.By George Lauriat, AJOTChina Shipping Container Line (CSCL) is establishing an independent all-water East Coast service from Asia via the Panama Canal that will improve overall transit times and double capacity. The Shanghai-based containership operator’s reconfigured service features eight 4,020-TEU, 24-knot vessels, all of which are relatively new. The new rotation for the AAE1 (Asia America East 1) outbound from the US East Coast to Asia includes the following ports: New York-Norfolk-Savannah-Miami-Shanghai-Hong Kong-Yantian. The inbound rotation from Asia to the US will be: Shanghai-Hong Kong-Yantian-New York-Norfolk-Savannah-Miami. The Miami to Shanghai leg is 23 days. The Yantian to New York leg is 23 days.
The reconfigured schedule will be wholly in-place on the inbound leg from China with the sailing of the CSCL New York from Shanghai on May 5th. The new outbound leg will commence with the sailing of the CSCL Felixstowe from the Port of New York/New Jersey on May 26th.
The new service reflects a new approach. The former AAE1 service was an allied eight-ship rotation split with CMA-CGM. The new service is wholly owned by CSCL. Another major change is inbound AAE1’s last call in Asia in Yantian with New York the first call on the US East Coast. Conversely, on the outbound leg, Miami is the last US port of call and Shanghai the first in China.
Finally, the most significant change in the rotation is the addition of inbound and outbound calls at Norfolk, Virginia. The Norfolk calls are important to the service because of the proximity to Mid-Atlantic DCs and the port’s intermodal reach into the Midwest. Joe Alagna, Vice President, US Sales, China Shipping (North America) Agency Co., Inc., said of the new AAE1 rotation, “Adding Norfolk helps us to better serve the new Mid-Atlantic DCs being set up.” Alagna added, “It also gives us an opportunity to better serve RIPI (reverse interior point intermodal) destinations in the Midwest through the new ‘Heartland Corridor’.”
The new service reflects CSCL’s current strategy on a number of levels. “Going it alone,” is an element of the strategy that enables the ocean carrier to deploy more of its own assets on tighter schedules that include trade routes and ports of interest to the company’s goals. In the case of the rotation among mainland ports (Shanghai-Hong Kong and Yantian) this dovetails into the extensive feeder system. Alagna noted in his remarks on the new rotation, “China Shipping has advantages over competitors where we can provide container transport in the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River and for intra-coastal movements as well as domestic trucking and rail services in China.”
Although CSCL, like other carriers, has experienced problems associated with the global recession (2008 CSCL moved nearly seven million loaded TEUS, just under five percent off from the 2007 tally) the company is still investing in the critical trans-Pacific trade lane. “While other carriers are contracting, CSCL continues to increase assets on the trans-Pacific trade including a new T-30 terminal in Seattle, which will open next month,” Alagna said.
In 2008, the CSCL Group posted revenues of Rmb 34.76bn and profits of Rmb 43mln. The company has 158 vessels totaling 493,016 TEUs, with vessels accommodating over 4,000 TEUs accounting for more than 80% of the fleet (Dec. 31st 2008).

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American Journal of Transportation