Copyright 2006, Traffic World, Inc.
Yang Ming and "K" Line plan merged their two current Asia-Mediterranean services, AMS and AMS2, into a new service consisting of seven 5,500-TEU vessels.
The merger, completed Nov. 19, reduced the capacity the two carriers currently deploy in their Asia-Mediterranean services by 3,600 TEUs.
The two carriers said all port calls covered by the previous services will be continued by the combined service. The AMS and AMS2 services will be replaced gradually and will be suspended when the revamped AMS service has been completely rolled out.
In a separate announcement, "K" Line said it concluded long-term contracts with Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. of Shanghai for the transport of iron ore by large-sized bulk carriers. A three-year agreement begins in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and covers the transport of 500,000 tons of ore from Brazil to China.
A 10-year contract calls for consecutive-voyage transport of 2.4 million tons of iron ore annually from Western Australia to China starting in the second half of 2008.
The Japanese carrier has transported iron ore to Baosteel since 1994; the new agreements are the first long-term contracts between "K" Line and Baosteel.
Two new vessels will be deployed in the new contracts - one of 185,000 tons for the three-year pact and one of 200,000 tons for the 10-year agreement.