APL expands premium service to 29 Asian ports

APL expands premium service to 29 Asian ports

APL has extended its Eagle GO. Guaranteed trans-Pacific services. Photo credit: APL.

Shippers looking for certainty in peak periods and who are prepared to pay for it have encouraged APL to expand its premium guaranteed service across the trans-Pacific from four to 29 Asian ports just six months after it was launched.

The Singapore-based subsidiary of CMA CGM said the ocean freight guarantee product, known as Eagle GO. Guaranteed, would begin on March 1.

“During the recent peak leading up to the Lunar New Year, shippers turned to APL’s Eagle GO. Guaranteed to get their urgent shipments going without the concerns of equipment and vessel space shortages,” said Jesper Stenbak, senior vice president of APL’s trans-Pacific trade.

“In scaling up the Eagle GO. Guaranteed service to 25 more Asian ports, we seek to benefit more shippers, in particular those loading from the major ports of Busan, Jakarta, Qingdao, and Xiamen, among others.”

Carriers are trying to differentiate themselves in a market dominated by fewer container lines sharing volume across three major alliances, and move the relationship between themselves and customers away from one that is driven purely by price.

This saw APL introduce its APL’s Eagle Guaranteed program, and the GO. Guaranteed service was launched in October 2017 with four Asian ports of origin, connecting Shanghai, Ningbo, and Yantian in China, and Cai Mep in Vietnam, to the US West and East coasts. The extended service will see 22 North America-destined services calling at 29 Asia ports.

From March 1, APL’s Eagle GO. Guaranteed service will apply to 15 US West Coast-destined services as well as seven US East Coast-bound loops that pick up cargo from the ports of Busan, Cai Mep, Dalian, Fuqing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kobe, Laem Chabang, Lianyungang, Mundra, Nagoya, Naha, Nansha, Nhava Sheva, Ningbo, Port Klang, Port Qasim, Qingdao, Sendai, Shanghai, Shekou, Singapore, Taipei, Tianjin, Tokyo, Xiamen, Yantian, and Yokohama.

When the premium service was launched in October, APL CEO Nicolas Sartini told JOC.com that it was a new approach the carrier had developed after its CMA CGM acquisition in 2016, and the right solutions rather than the lowest price would be the way forward.

“We need to be more imaginative. This is what we are trying to do with our Eagle Guaranteed program,” he said. “The program is highly successful and we have launched a suite of guaranteed services to deliver to shippers and create value at premium rates.”

Shippers using a service in the Eagle Guaranteed program pay a surcharge, and 100 percent of the surcharge is refunded if the delivery date is not met. The service enables APL to develop time-definite business arrangements with importers of certain products when it has a critical mass of shippers at designated destinations.

“Of course, the guy who ships two containers won’t be interested, because he doesn’t need it. But for those customers with a sophisticated supply chain we want to make sure there is a just-in-time delivery that they are prepared to pay for,” Sartini said.

Contact Greg Knowler at greg.knowler@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler.