CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Co. on May 8 will launch a new jointly operated, fixed-day weekly service, the Asia Southern Red Sea Express, connecting South China, Southeast Asia and southern Red Sea ports.
The REX3/RES2/ARC2 port rotation will be as follows: Xiamen, Yantian and Shekou, China; Port Klang, Malaysia; Djibouti; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Port Sudan; Djibouti; Port Klang; and Xiamen.
The new setup will complement the REX2/RES service, which focuses on northern Red Sea ports, operated jointly by CMA CGM, CSCL, Hanjin Shipping, Yang Ming and “K” Line, according to Alphaliner’s latest weekly newsletter. UASC also takes slots on this service, which it brands as Asia-Red Sea Container Service 1 or ARC1.
The service will benefit Red Sea exporters by minimizing transit time and enhancing port coverage, according to CMA CGM.
“It was strategic to consolidate and build up our presence in the Red Sea markets with improved services from Asia,” said Stéphane Courquin, vice president of CMA CGM’s Asia-Mediterranean lines, in a written statement. “This new configuration is an additional step of our deployment in the area and confirms the will of the group to strengthen its presence in these strategic areas.”
CSCL and UASC have so far covered the southern Red Sea through feeder services based at Jeddah, while CMA CGM currently serves the region with a Southeast Asia-to-lower Red Sea service, dubbed REX3/SRS 2, in partnership with Evergreen Line, according to Alphaliner. This CMA CGM-Evergreen service will end in April, the industry analyst said.
Alphaliner also noted that Evergreen has plans to boost capacity by about 25 percent in its existing FRS service — calling at Jeddah; Ain Sukhna, Egypt; and Aqaba, Jordan — jointly operated with Cosco Container Lines.