Regional Container Lines has announced the addition of Nansha to the rotation of its ‘RBC2’ service, which links China, Thailand and Cambodia with weekly sailings on a 21-day round trip. The loop had been launched as recently as March.
The expanded rotation now stands as follows:
Nansha, Ningbo, Shanghai (Pudong/Waigaoqiao), Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Ningbo, Nansha.
Selected sailings also call at the Thai port Ma Ta Phut, near the more established container port of Laem Chabang.
RCL commented that the new Nansha call was aimed particularly at providing reefer customers from Thailand an additional link to the Pearl River Delta area. Thailand is a major exporter of frozen seafood from aqua farming.
At the beginning of May, Coscon will furthermore join as a new co-operator and vessel provider on the ‘RBC2’. The Chinese carrier will therefore charter the 1,018 teu DANU BHUM from RCL, one of the three sisters presently staffing the service. The fleet will thus remain unchanged, with the exception that one of the vessels will be Coscon-operated in the future. The DANU BHUM will not take part in the occasional Ma Ta Phut calls, which are limited to RCL vessels.
The existing slot buyers Maersk, MCC and Cheng Lie Navigation are expected to continue on the loop unchanged.
RCL president, Mr Sumate Tanthuwanit, commented that the changes heralded a new era in RCL’s cooperation with Coscon, but did not elaborate further. Apparently, the two carriers are presently looking at ways to streamline their intra-Asia network and cooperate further.