Hong Kong’s TS Lines has announced a new China-Australia Express CAX service that will deploy five 21-knot, 2,700-TEU ships that will complete the run from Shanghai to Sydney in 14 days, Exim News Service informs.
The company also announced it is considering starting a Taiwan-flagged shipping line and is now recruiting "ambitious and hardworking individuals" to cope with the expansion.
The new CAX service will call at Ningbo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Shekou, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and return to Ningbo.
TS Lines has also deployed a new THK-2 service with a single 1,100-TEU moving at 18 knots to rotate from Hong Kong to the Taiwanese ports of Keelung, Taichung and Kaohsiung before returning to Hong Kong.
The company expressed optimism about the potential of the Bohai-Bay area, and in March acquired a feeder service called HKH that links Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao and Hong Kong.
The line’s existing JTK and JTK-2 services, running between Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, have more capacity with ships of 2,700-TEU and 2,000-TEU. Its MidEast CME service will re-deploy 3,100-3,500-TEU vessels in response to increasing demand.
The JTK-2 service has extended itself to Indonesia from May to handle heavier cargo flow between China and the Asean countries. This connects Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan.
All reefer containers will be replaced with new units this year.
New reefer boxes will have the latest technology in energy-saving, the company statement said. At the end of 2009, TS Lines said it had expected a turnaround in the container market and, ahead of rivals, leased 33,000-TEU to cope with the growth in trade.
TS Lines’ throughput in 2009 came to 1.17 million TEUs. In the last quarter, the firm’s container volumes increased by 25 per cent year-on-year.
TS Lines operates 33 services with 31 vessels ranging from 1,000-3,500-TEU with total capacity of 63,000 TEUs, and is the 24th biggest container shipping line in the world.