With the resignation of P&O Nedlloyd effective on February 12, the remaining member lines of the Grand Alliance have outlined their 2006 service structure. To meet projected growth in demands, new vessels have been ordered by the other members of the Alliance: Hapag-Lloyd Container Line (HLCL), Malaysia International Shipping Corp. (MISC), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). All told, the Alliance will have a total capacity of 640,000 TEU. To meet market needs, there will be 112 vessels dedicated to the three major East-West trade lanes, an increase of 14% year over year.
There will be 11 loops, using 74 vessels, for trans-Pacific freight with seven of them between Asia and the U.S. West Coast. Additionally there will be three services using the Panama Canal and one through the Suez Canal.
The Grand Alliance will continue to offer eight services between Europe and the Far East, three of which will be offered in cooperation with The New World Alliance (TNWA). Some 63 vessels with capacities ranging from 4,000 to 8,063 TEU will be used in these services. For North Atlantic service, the Grand Alliance will use 15 (plus four PAX pendulum ships) with capacities between 2,800 and 4,400 TEU.
‘K’ Line will be receiving five new 5,500 TEU ships during 2006 to be added to its Asia – North America services. Asia – Japan – U.S. North West Coast Service (PNW) will use five 5,500 TEU vessels and will add direct calls on Xiamen. Service for the largest U.S. gate port will be solidified at five 5,500 TEU vessels. This Asia – Japan – U.S. South West Coast Service (PSW-1) will remain the same in rotation and port coverage. Port coverage and rotation for Asia – U.S. East Coast Service (AWE4) will remain unchanged, though it will be unified at eight 4,000 TEU vessels.
Transit times include Shanghai to Long Beach, 13 days; Ningbo to Long Beach, 12 days; and Tokyo to Long Beach, 9 days.