The Galex service, an intra-Asia loop operated jointly by Emirates Shipping Line, Hanjin Shipping, Korea Marine Transport Co. and Regional Container Lines, is adding a second call at Cochin, India, on its eastbound rotation.
The additional call is set to begin with the arrival of the Emirates Dana, voyage 0154E, at DP World-operated Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal on Friday, according to a trade advisory.
The fixed-day, weekly service now has the following port rotation: Pusan, South Korea; Shanghai, Ningbo and Chiwan, China; Singapore, Port Klang, Malaysia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Mundra, India; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Bandar Abbas, Iran; Cochin; Port Klang; Hong Kong and back to Pusan.
“With this (eastbound call), Cochin Port offers direct sailing to Far East destinations as well, in addition to its present connectivity to Europe (via transshipment) and the Middle East,” according to the release.
The Galex, which uses a fleet of seven ships with capacities of around 6,500 20-foot-equivalent units, began calling at Cochin on the westbound leg in July.
The statement said the expanded rotation improves transit times on the route and allows Indian shippers to save on inland costs. The eastbound Cochin call will improve service specifically for textile exports, including coir fibers and related products, from southern India industrial locations such as Pollachi and Dindigul to destination points close to the intermediate China ports of Ningbo and Chiwan, according to the advisory.
The upgraded Galex is a big gain for DP World Cochin, which has been aggressively looking for more vessel calls to grow its volumes. In fiscal year 2014-15, its fourth year of operations, Vallarpadam moved slightly more than 366,000 TEUs, and the private facility was designed to handle 1 million TEUs annually.
Though Vallarpadam increased its throughput by about 9 percent year-over-year from April to October, the first seven months of fiscal 2015-16, its transshipment business suffered a 23 percent decline in the same period over the corresponding months last year, statistics compiled by JOC.com show.
The first phase of the Vallarpadam project includes 1,969 feet of quay, a draft of 48 feet, 99 acres of backup area, four quayside gantry cranes, 15 rubber-tire gantry cranes and three reach stackers.