Horizon Lines Inc., a domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, plans to add approximately 12,500 new containers to its international and domestic shipping network to support existing customers and the carrier's new Asia liner service launching in December.
Beginning on December 13, 2010, Horizon Lines will launch a weekly liner service, named the Five Star Express, with port calls at Shanghai and Ningbo in Central China; and Los Angeles and Oakland in California. Using five 2,824 TEU capacity Hunter Class vessels, Horizon Lines will offer some of the fastest transit times in the transpacific trade, including 11-day port-to-port transit from Shanghai to Los Angeles, with Monday morning cargo availability every week at the nation's busiest import gateway.
Horizon Lines completed its first live test of the service in September with the eastbound voyage of the Horizon Enterprise, as it stopped in Shanghai on its return from a dry-dock in Asia. All operations were handled by Horizon Lines' new owner's representative and general agent in China.
Five of Horizon Lines' vessels currently call ports in China under its space charter agreement with Maersk Line. Once that agreement expires on December 10, 2010, Horizon Lines will begin transporting general cargo from Ningbo and Shanghai on behalf of direct commercial customers. Sales and marketing efforts for the service have been formally underway since March.
In addition to offering customers a transpacific import alternative, the new Five Star Express service will allow Horizon Lines to better accommodate an expanding military presence in Guam, where trade is expected to grow significantly in coming years. The Five Star Express service will connect with Horizon Lines' warehousing and distribution capabilities on the U.S. West Coast to create an integrated import/export solution.