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Ocean Alliance adds new Asia services into US, Canada

The Ocean Alliance comprises some 352 container ships of 4.43 million capacity. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

The Ocean Alliance, the second-largest container ship alliance by capacity, unveiled network changes on Thursday that include the addition of two new trans-Pacific express services into the North American West Coast and one to the US Southeast by spring.

The new services are part of other moves by the alliance’s members, including upgrading capacity on Asia-Europe services and putting into rotation more fuel-efficient vessels across all trade lanes.

CMA CGM and Cosco Shipping Lines, the third- and fourth-largest ocean carriers by capacity, said they will begin offering container capacity on two new services between Asia and the West Coast by April. The CENX will offer service from Qingdao and Shanghai and Canada’s Prince Rupert. Another service, SEAX, will call the Shanghai and Yantian ports before going to Long Beach.

Along with an around-the-world service, Ocean Alliance offers 14 trans-Pacific services direct into the US West Coast, according to the latest service guide from CMA CGM. In a separate statement, Cosco’s OOCL subsidiary said it would also offer a North China service into Los Angeles.

The Ocean Alliance will also offer the CBX/AWE7 service that will call on China and South Korea before calling on Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, and Miami. Ocean Alliance lists four trans-Pacific services into the US East Coast currently.

Ocean Alliance did not disclose vessel capacity on the new services.

A trans-Pacific service into Los Angeles will also get an upgrade, CMA CGM said, noting it will put seven 15,000 TEU ships on its Pearl River Express (PRX) services from Southern China. The PRX service currently uses seven ships in the 9,000 to 11,400 TEU range.

CMA CGM Chief Executive Rodolphe Saadé told JOC’s Virtual TPM21 conference last year that recently delivered newly constructed ships, which are dual fuel with the capability to burn liquefied natural gas (LNG), would be deployed along the trans-Pacific in 2022.

CMA CGM’s main service from Asia to Europe will also see more fuel-efficient vessels. The carrier said Thursday it will swap out nine of the 12 ships on the French Asia Line 1 (FAL1) with 23,000 TEU ships that are fueled by LNG.

Its Asia-to-Mediterranean service will also get an upgrade with nine LNG-fueled ships of 15,000 TEU capacity on its Mediterranean Club Express (MEX) service. Five 8,500 TEU ships will be deployed on another Asia-to-Mediterranean service. CMA CGM said it will also offer two new trans-Atlantic services from Europe to the US East and Gulf coasts.

Contact Michael Angell at michael.angell@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @michael_angell.