Horizon Lines said Monday it will add some 12,500 new containers to its international and domestic shipping network to support the launch of its new weekly liner service between China and the U.S. in December.
The new Five Star Express service is already 45 percent booked for its first sailing on Dec. 13, according to Brian Taylor, senior vice president of International Services at Horizon Lines.
“We continue to believe that we are entering the market at an opportune time," Taylor said. "U.S. importers are diversifying their ocean shipping contracts to adjust to ongoing capacity fluctuations in the trans-Pacific.”
By The Numbers: U.S. Container Trade With Mainland China.
The new route, which will serve Shanghai and Ningbo in Central China; and Los Angeles and Oakland in California, will use five Hunter Class vessels, which each have a capacity of 2,824 20-foot equivalent container units.
Horizon Lines completed its first live test of the service last month with the eastbound voyage of the Horizon Enterprise, as it stopped in Shanghai on its return from a dry-dock in Asia.
As planned, the Five Star Express will provide a transit time of 11 days from Shanghai to Los Angeles, with Monday morning cargo availability every week at the nation's busiest import gateway.
Five of Horizon Lines' vessels currently call ports in China under its space charter agreement with Maersk Line. Once that agreement expires on December 1, Horizon Lines will begin transporting general cargo to the U.S. from Ningbo and Shanghai on behalf of its own commercial customers.
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