Shipping line quartet link for new regional service

Move comes after OOCL hikes rate from Southeast Asia to Australia

Shipping line quartet link for new regional service
OOCL is in a new service and has recently hiked rates


In the sorts of moves Australian competition authorities sometimes struggle with, four international container shipping lines have joined forces for a new Australasian service less than two weeks after one of them hiked its container shipping rate.

Marseilles-headquartered CMA CGM will provide four ships to the new service, Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL) two, and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and Pacific International Lines (PIL) one each.

The new service will be operated using ships of 4,250 TEU nominal capacity.

"The weekly service will turn around in 49 days offering an extensive port coverage in Asia and New Zealand and including a stop in Australian port on her way from Asia, the full port rotation and phase in plan will be confirmed by end of the month once final arrangements are made," the quartet says.

"The lines aim to provide their customers with direct, reliable and competitive service to both southbound and northbound legs through this cooperation."

The service is yet to gain a name but it replaced the current ANZEX/NZN service operated by CMA CGM and OOCL.

The new loop starts from Shanghai in early November.

meanwhile, the move comes 10 days after OOCL announced a rate hike for its Southeast Asia-Australia services.

"The ocean freight rates continue to be below the required level to cover basic operating costs or transportation costs in our Southeast Asia-Australia services.

"Considering that current levels are unsustainable for the long term, we are announcing a rate restoration program for this trade lane," the Hong Kong shipping line says.

"In order to maintain a high standard service level and a comprehensive liner network, please be advised that with effect from September 15, freight rates for traffic from Southeast Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar and Middle East) to Australia will be increased by US$300/TEU and US$600/FEU for both dry and refrigerated cargo in the base ocean freight.

"This increase will apply on top of existing ongoing market rates and will be subject to accessorial surcharges applicable at the time of shipment."

Shipping lines operate together in trade to Australia through competition law exemptions.

A week before the OOCL hike, ACCC chairman Rod Sims reiterated the regulator’s call for reform on such exemptions.

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