European ferry giant Stena Line is examining further service options in Asia after announcing that its first route between the South Korean city of Sokcho and the Russian ports of Zarubino and Vladivostok will start operations on March 19.
Hans Nilsson, CEO of Stena International Freight, told the JOC that no new additional services in Asia had been confirmed, but that the company’s ambition is “to expand into Asia,” and the new Korea-Russia link is just the first step.
“We believe it is an interesting business opportunity in a growing market,” he said.
When it commences on March 19, the service will see the deployment of one ship initially — the RoPax ferry New Blue Ocean — with capacity for 1,400 meters of trucks, trailers and containers as well as 750 passengers.
It will make two scheduled trips a week between Sokcho and Zarubino as well as one trip between Sokcho and Vladivostok.
“There is strong demand for a high quality route with freight and passenger transports between Korea and Russia,” Nilsson said. "The region around Zarubino and Vladivostok is developing into a transport hub for traffic to both Russia and China.
“In addition, there will be direct access to the Trans-Siberian Railway, making journeys all the way from Korea, via Russia, to Europe easier.
“At the same time, the route also provides direct access to the Korean market.”
The new service will be operated under the name Stena Daea Line, which is 90 percent owned by Stena Line and 10 percent by Daea.