Carriers Launch New Transpac Shuttle Services as Chinese Exports Surge

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Container lines on Asia-America trades are set to take advantage of strong demand propelled by a rush of cargo out of China.

The latest push comes from MSC, which has reopened its Mustang shuttle service between China and the US west coast, which began in late 2021, only to be suspended when the pandemic-induced volume surges halted.

Due to relaunch in week 28, it will offer a rotation of Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Long Beach and Yantian, and, MSC told customers, will provide “increased capacity and faster transit times between East Asia and the US west coast”.

Estimated transit times at Long Beach will be 20 days from Yantian, 16 days from Ningbo and 13 days from Shanghai.

It is the latest in a series of recent transpacific service announcements by mainline and Asia regional operators, with an eye on boosting profits from soaring rate levels. Out of China, prices have skyrocketed, reminiscent of the peaks seen during Covid.

At the same time, major hub ports in the Asian region continue to contend with heavy congestion due to more carrier calls for transhipment movements, sparked by Red Sea crisis-linked vessel diversions.

Several weekly scheduled services on Indian trades have blanked calls to Singapore, Hong Kong, Port Klang and Manila in recent weeks, raising significant cargo delays for shippers.

Known upcoming port omissions announced by CMA CGM include: OOCL Luxembourg on the CIX (India-China Express) service at Singapore; Shina, deployed on the IEX (India East Coast Express) service, at Singapore and Manila; and X-Press Capella on the AS9 (Asia-Subcontinent Express) at Port Klang and Hong Kong.

CMA CGM Agencies India told customers in a recent advisory: “Shipments already booked for Singapore will be rolled-over to the next CIX vessel or other ISC loops.”

While the intra-Asia schedule disruptions persist, Indian importers remain in a quandary over how to plan production lines because of the unpredictable delivery schedules.

An executive at a major Mumbai engineering group told The Loadstar: “Importers are not sure when their cargo will get loaded onto a ship and then arrive at Indian ports.”

“From the Far East to India, container availability is very tight, in addition to sailing reliability problems, because of blankings and port congestion.”

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Source: The Loadstar