THE end of 2017 and the first couple of weeks this year saw a string of new and enhanced container shipping service offerings on intra-Asia and China-Southeast and South Asia routes.
The move comes amid the recognition that these China-India routes provide an opportunity to deploy vessels of up to 8,000-9,000 TEU.
“Overall, the intra-Asia market is expected to grow five per cent in 2018. Southeast Asian countries are likely to see strong trade growth while trade between China and India is expected to rise in line with India’s economic development,” said APL.
Partners in the Ocean Alliance, OOCL and APL, were among the first to launch. The former’s Far East-Chennai service boosts service to the southeast of India from China while APL also announced revamps to its China-India Subcontinent network.
“2017 saw APL offering 38 services as part of the Ocean Alliance, as well as introducing 14 new APL services and enhancing 14 existing loops,” said a spokeswoman.
She added that the services were introduced to strengthen the line global network, especially key transpacific and intra-Asia trade lanes, as well as enhance its presence in the Middle East and Indian subcontinents, as well as seek growth opportunities in Oceania and transatlantic.
Recognising challenges APL said: “It is noteworthy that the Southeast Asia shipping network is constantly changing. In particular, the intra-Asia short sea market is fast moving with comparatively lower barriers to entry or exit compared to long haul trades.”
In response, APL kicked off the year with the announcement of a new China Southeast Asia (CSE) service that has been introduced to meet this demand.
“In 2018, more APL services will be introduced to serve market needs and further develop our service network,” she said.