K-Line and MOL are to add a Far East – Mexico service to their respective Transpacific offers through slots on Hapag-Lloyd’s ‘AME1’. Following an earlier announcement of MOL, K-Line has apparently decided to follow and participate too.
Starting this month, the Japanese carriers will both join their compatriot NYK, which already takes slots on this loop since 2012, and APL with slots on the service’s eastbound leg.
The Hapag-Lloyd-operated loop turns in eight weeks with eight ships. The German carrier deploys a mixed fleet of 4,250 teu panamax-beam ships as well as over-panamax vessels of 5,500 to 6,700 teu on the service, resulting in an average weekly capacity of 4,762 teu. The ‘AME’ trades along the following rotation: Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Busan, Yokohama, Ensenada, Manzanillo (Mex), Lazaro Cardenas, Ensenada, Yokohama, Ningbo.
K-Line will brand the slots as its ‘ANDES – 2’ and MOL will market them as its ‘AME’. With K-Line, MOL and NYK now onboard, the service essentially complements and reverse-mirrors the arrangement on another Far East to WCSA loop, where Hapag-Lloyd slots on a joint operation of the Japanese trio. This other loop is operated by MOL (branded ‘CWL’), K-Line (branded ‘Andes 1’) and NYK (branded ‘ALX’) and it also covers Manzanillo (Mex), but thereafter serves Callao, Iquique, Valparaiso, Lirquen and Callao again.
Now that K-Line and MOL join Hapag-Lloyd on the ‘AME1’, the group of four operators basically share an identical Far East – Latin America offer.