APL to launch new intra-Asia service

APL to launch new intra-Asia service

Container carrier APL said it will replace its current Singapore West Asia Express (SWX) service in the intra-Asia trade with a new weekly service, branded the Asia Sub-continent (AS1), starting at the end of this month.

The AS1, employing six vessels, will commence from Qingdao on May 23 with the following port rotation: Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo and Chiwan, China; Singapore; Port Kelang, Malaysia; Karachi, Pakistan; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Singapore; and back to Qingdao.

The last SWX sailing will be provided by the APL Chicago, voyage 107, arriving at Singapore on May 26.

The new service connects China origins, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo and Chiwan, and Port Kelang directly to Karachi, the Singapore-based carrier said in a trade advisory.  The AS1 will also offer faster transit times from China and Singapore to Karachi, according to APL.

“The service provides connection for India East and South Coast origins — Chennai, Tuticorin and Cochin — via Colombo to Qingdao, Shanghai and Ningbo.”

Colombo handled 4.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units in 2014, with transshipment cargo accounting for 3.2 million TEUs, according to port statistics compiled by JOC.com.