Hyundai Merchant Marine has decided to extended its ‘ACS’ Korea – India service to Vostochny. The move appears to be motivated by the carrier’s desire to take advantage of the favorably low bunker prices offered at the northeast Russian port and to rotate as many ships as possible through Vostochny on a regular basis.
The weekly fixed-day loop will now turn in six weeks instead of five weeks, with the 2,181 HYUNDAI VLADIVOSTOK joining five sister vessels on the following rotation: Busan, Vostochny (new), Busan (new), Ulsan, Shanghai, Yantian, Singapore, Port Kelang, Chennai, Port Kelang, Singapore, Busan.
While the dedicated Vostochny-Busan shuttle on which CMA CGM and Fesco were buying slots is closed, the Korea-Russia link remains ensured through the new double Busan call on the Korea – India service.
In addition to CMA CGM and Fesco, further carriers slot on the extended loop. Notably these are Sinokor between Busan and Shanghai and TS Lines on Shanghai, Port Kelang, Chennai.
Vostochny continues to attract a growing number of carriers, who can afford the extra time and extra miles of the detour. In an eco-steaming environment, the cost savings from cheaper bunker fuel obviously outweigh any disadvantages that arise from the Vostochny routing. Ship&Bunker reports that ‘the Russian ports’ prices are $100 to $150 less per metric tonne (mt) […] and bonded bunker fuel sales in the Far East ports have doubled in a year with volumes expected to hit 250,000 mt this month.’ (full Ship&Bunker article).