The members of the New World Alliance (APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL)) have announced their intention to move another string of their Asia ’ Europe service to Thamesport.
From February 2008, the soon-to-be-upgraded South China Express (SCX) service will call at Thamesport. It will join the New World Alliance’s Asia Express (AEX) service, which had previously transferred to the automated Kent facility in November 2004.
Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer for Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of Thamesport (London) Limited, commented:
‘The decision by the New World Alliance to relocate this service is a massive vote of confidence in Thamesport. The Asia Express service has been here for three years now, so the member lines are aware that Thamesport is an excellent choice for shippers, with impressive turnaround times, and no congestion. We look forward to working with the South China Express service to offer a quicker and more efficient service to UK importers and exporters.’
The SCX service is currently operated by seven x 5,300 teu vessels, four supplied by APL, and three by MOL. However, capacity on the new SCX service will be significantly increased through the deployment of eight x 8,100 teu vessels. APL will provide four of the new vessels, with the remainder coming from MOL.
This latest news follows decisions by a number of other Lines to transfer calls to Thamesport during 2007. The need to turn vessels around quickly, and to retain schedules during the traditional pre-Christmas peak season, has seen a number of ships from Maersk Line, the Grand Alliance, and K Line divert to Thamesport in recent months.