ContainersGreater China

CU Lines looks at further Europe voyages

The team behind the newest entrant to the Asia – Europe container tradelane are looking at adding more voyages amid heightened demand.

Splash reported last month on China United Lines’ (CU Lines) decision to enter the east-west tradelane, using a comparatively small ship.

The company’s first Asia – Europe service left Yantian in southern China on February 8, using the 2,700 teu Laila, a ship chartered in from Peter Dohle.

The ship, now in the Indian Ocean bound for the Suez Canal, will call at Hamburg and Rotterdam.

The service has been created with XSTAFF, a Düsseldorf-based international purchasing network, who cited current extremely high cargo rates, limited container availability and frequent delays for its decision to partner with CU Lines on the new service.

“The charter was planned as a one-off initiative, due to strong demand, however, preparations are already underway for a second voyage in the first half of 2021 if the shipping environment has not improved,” XSTAFF stated in a release.

Extreme demand combined with sky high freight rates has seen liners seek out all forms of tonnage in recent months, with many MPPs taken also on charter.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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