Shipping companies from the Ocean Alliance are looking to deploy increased ocean carrier services from Asia to the US East and Gulf Coast ports starting from April 2017, according to the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).
The alliance, which consists of the French shipping company CMA CGM, China’s COSCO Shipping, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Taiwanese Evergreen, filed its vessel sharing agreement with FMC on Friday.
The all water service being offered to the United States includes “a significant increase” in new port calls, according to the Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Doyle.
The carriers are planning to transition from their former alliances in or about March 2017 and, subject to regulatory approval, begin full operation by April.
Doyle added that the service from Asia to US East and Gulf Coast ports is a direct result of the newly expanded Panama Canal, which was inaugurated on June 26.
Following the completion of the USD 5.25 billion expansion project, the Panama Canal has pushed back the Suez Canal’s incursion into all-water routes between the Far East and the US East Coast, as it regained the majority share in terms of overall container transport capacity on the trade this month, according to Alphaliner.
After the launch of the new locks, the Panama Canal’s share of the trade now reaches 57%, compared to 48% at the start of this year.
World Maritime News Staff