Hanjin and Sinotrans opt for Chiwan’s `more competitive price levels’ for South China freight
Hanjin Shipping and Sinotrans, major players in the China-Europe trades, are going to drop direct calls at Hong Kong on the China-Europe Express (CEX) service, replacing them with calls at Shenzhen’s Chiwan port, according to the South China Morning Post.
The carriers will make their first calls at Chiwan on the westbound leg of the service, and drop Hong Kong as an exporting centre for cargo from southern China to Europe.
Hong Kong, a port of call on the CEX loop since the lines introduced the joint schedule in the early 1990s, was one of the first direct services linking ports along the China coast with north Europe and Britain.
In December, Hanjin and Sinotrans also will drop Hong Kong as an eastbound call on the CEX, centring all stops for the southern China market on the service through Chiwan. The move is reportedly being made because Chiwan offered more competitive price levels.
Chiwan now will replace Hong Kong as the first southern China port of call for the Seoul-based shipping giant’s five new chartered ships of 4,350 TEU, which are being built in South Korea. All five are expected to be used on the CEX by early next spring. The newbuildings will replace 2,700-TEU vessels, providing faster service and transit time.
The nine-ship service, which includes three chartered 4,000-teu ships operated by Sinotrans, will switch to an eight-ship service next spring.
Hanjin will continue to serve the Hong Kong-Europe trade with two pendulum services which also link to the US West Coast. Sinotrans is being offered about 200 slots a week on these services.
The new CEX schedule will call at Chiwan, Xingang, Qingdao, Shanghai, Singapore, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Singapore and Chiwan.
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