ContainersMiddle East

ZIM debuts 12-day transpacific transits to compete with air cargo for e-commerce business

Israeli carrier ZIM has developed a new speedy 12-day transpacific sailing, which it reckons is ideally suited to cater for the massive growth in e-commerce shipments.

The new ZIM eCommerce Xpress (ZEX) will start on June 22 from Yantian and Dachan Bay in southern China to Los Angeles with five so-called Sprinter vessels.

ZIM president and CEO Eli Glickman commented: “Once more we’re putting into practice our core values, our agility and can-do approach, to identify fast-growing market needs – and provide a smart, express solution with option to combine expedite sea and air freight solution, in record time.”

EVP Pacific services Nissim Yochai added: “ZIM is coming back to the Pacific South West (PSW) with a fast, punctual and reliable service. We aim to serve our existing customers and a new segment of the growing e-commerce market with our unique, well-known personal touch. This service is also an excellent and reliable substitute for air freight, with much more affordable prices and the best value for money.”

Commenting on the ZIM news, Andy Lane from Singapore container advisory, CTI Consultancy, the new service was a “bold move”.

Yantian to Los Angeles is 6,500 nautical miles, which at 16 knots would take 17 days.

“To do it in 12 days requires a speed of 22.5 knots. That is almost maximum speed and right at the top of the fuel curve, burning more than twice as much than at eco-speed,” Lane pointed out, adding: “Historically shippers have preferred reliability over transit time. Mid-week closing in South China has traditionally also not been popular.”

The new service offers Wednesday departure from Shenzhen, and  Monday cargo availability in Los Angeles.

ZIM has built up a strong reputation and loyal following for its innovative services to the US, which attracted 2M partners, Maersk and MSC, to engage in a vessel sharing agreement on the transpacific two years ago.

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.


  1. Hey SAM,

    Great post and highly appreciable initiative by ZIM. Fast and reliable services is cost-effective too, And a reliable substitute for air freight services. Thanks, SAM for Sharing.

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