Effective 23 June, the Japanese carrier Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) will participate in Hapag’s Lloyd ‘AME1’ Transpacific service, a loop that links North China, Korea and Japan to Mexico.
The fixed-day, seven week rotation reads as follows: Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Busan, Yokohama, Ensenada, Manzanillo (Mexico), Lazaro Cardenas, Ensenada, Yokohama, Ningbo.
To be branded ‘AME’ by MOL, the service will have its weekly capacity increased by 500 to 600 teu per week as three 260m long panamax-beam units of about 4,200 teu (SEASPAN DALIAN, SEASPAN FELIXSTOWE, STADT FREIBURG) and the 21-year old full panamax vessel ATLANTA EXPRESS (4,369 teu) will be replaced by larger-capacity overpanamax vessels. The first of these to join are Hapag’s 6,730 teu twins BANGKOK EXPRESS and LOS ANGELES EXPRESS. Among the ships to be replaced ins also the 5,888 teu overpanamax ITALY EXPRESS, which Hapag is expected to return to OOCL after a two-year subcharter.
This new participation represents a real addition to MOL’s offer: the Japanase carrier has slots on the APL operated ‘PS2’ which also reaches Mexico out of Far East, but mainly from South China and Hong Kong, since the ‘PS2’ calls at Yantian and Kaohsiung were dropped in Q4 2012.