The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) has signed a new four-year agreement with The New World Alliance (TNWA), securing current business and adding a weekly, all-water service through the Suez Canal that connects Charleston to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
TNWA includes major global carriers American President Lines (APL), Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., and Mitsui OSK Lines.
‘We are proud to announce this new multi-year agreement with the New World Alliance,’ said Bernard S. Groseclose, Jr., president and CEO of the SCSPA. ‘TNWA carriers have been strong partners in the Port of Charleston’s success, and they are set to grow rapidly with the new Suez Express Service. This is a significant addition of cargo and vessels to our port.’
George Hearn, vice president of APL’s Southern region said, ‘This is a great market opportunity for APL and the Port of Charleston because Charleston offers a solid base of cargo. We hope to tap that demand.
‘Charleston is a highly productive port,’ said Hearn. ‘The terminal is close to the ocean. The channels are deep, so we don’t have any tidal restrictions. Overall, APL ships can get in and out very quickly. Time is money to a ship operator.’
Currently, the NWA has one service with two weekly calls in Charleston. The Atlantic Pacific Express (APX) service is a pendulum connecting Charleston with Asia and North Europe and brings an annual throughput of more than 175,000 teu to the port.
The Suez Express (SZX) service will deploy eight vessels capable of carrying between 4,000 and 4,500 20-foot equivalent units (teu).
The SZX service, which begins in July, will include calls in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Kelang, Malaysia; and Singapore.
‘This service touches two critical cargo hubs for customers of the Port of Charleston,’ said Fred Stribling, vice president of marketing and sales for the SCSPA. ‘Singapore is a tremendous transshipment hub for Indonesia and all of Southeast Asia, and Colombo draws cargo from the Indian subcontinent. Access to those ports, and the regions they serve, is important, and this service offers very fast transit times that our cargo customers will appreciate.’
The SZX service offers inbound transit times of 27 days from Kelang, 24 days from Singapore and 21 days from Colombo. Outbound transit times from Charleston are 14 days to Jebel Ali, 29 days to Kelang, 30 days to Singapore and 35 days to Colombo. The service will call the Wando Welch Terminal.