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Global slowdown takes a bite out of APL and TNWA capacity

Singapore: The New World Alliance (TNWA) member APL has announced plans to par back the vessels operating on routes to and from Asia in response to increasingly challenging conditions in the major container trades brought about by the current economic environment. The company is reduce capacity in the Asia-Europe trade by close to 25%, on the Transpacific trade by around 20% and restructure its Inter-Asia services.

'The traditional seasonal softening of demand in the main container trades has been compounded by the global financial crisis and economic slowdown,' explained APL President Eng Aik Meng. ' In response to these factors, APL is taking quick and decisive action to adjust to this reduced demand and reconfigure our service networks to ensure we continue to meet our customers' container shipping needs.'

Accordingly, APL and the other TNWA members Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) are to suspend their existing CEX (China Europe Express) service running between China to North Europe and add additional calls to its SCX (South China Express) service beginning November 2, 2008. The revamped SCX service will deploy nine vessels calling at the port rotation: Ningbo, Yangshan, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Singapore, Colombo, Southampton, Zeebrugge, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Salalah, Singapore, Hong Kong and Ningbo.

APL itself intends to use similar tactics for its Transpacific offerings, incorporating its PS3 (Pacific South Express 3) service into its PCX (Pacific China Express) service, that will call at: Ningbo, Yangshan, Kwanyang, Pusan, Long Beach, Oakland, Pusan, Kwanyang, Ningbo.
 
The liner arm of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has also suspended the PSW (Pacific South West) service and its revamped SAX (South Asia Express) service will now make additional calls at Yantian and Chiwan. The revised SAX rotation is: Singapore, Yantian, Chiwan, Singapore, Kaohsiung, Chiwan, Singapore.
 
Additionally, APL's PCE (Pacific Coast Express) will omit calls at Xingang and Nagoya, but include an additional Pusan call in the eastbound direction. The revised coverage will call at: Qingdao, Pusan, Yokohama, Singapore, Oakland, Dutch Harbor, Yokohama,  Pusan, Qingdao. Xingang is now covered by direct APL feeder service, which also calls at Dalian and Pusan.
 
With regard to its Intra-Asia portfolio, APL has announced that its SSX (Singapore Subcontinent Express) service has been suspended and its route will be covered by a combination of the CSS (China Singapore Service) and the CMX (China Middle East Express).
 
The CSS will provide additional coverage of Shanghai and Ningbo, while the CMX has been upsized to a five ship loop with a revised rotation of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Jebel Ali, Nhava Sheva, Colombo, Singapore, Shanghai.  [22/10/08]
 

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