The China Navigation Company, (CNCo) the deep-sea shipping arm of the Swire group, has taken over the niche carrier Polynesia Line. China Navigation already held a minority interest of 13% in the California-headquartered Polynesia Line Ltd (PLL) since 1979 and it has now purchased all the remaining shares in the company.
CNCo said that it had no immediate plans to revamp PLL’s service structure. “We have tremendous confidence in PLL’s position as the premier US West Coast to the Pacific Islands shipping service which has been established over many years” said Tim Blackburn, Managing Director of CNCo. He added that, following the purchase of the shares, it will be “business as usual” for PLL.
The management of the service will remain in San Francisco, Interocean Steamship Corporation will continue to operate as the Line’s agent in the USA and there will be no change to the existing agency representation in the key ports of the Pacific Islands.
Polynesia Line, established in 1967, provides ocean transportation services between US West Coast and Tahiti, American Samoa, Western Samoa and other Pacific Islands. The Company operates a fortnightly service, which it offers in cooperation with the German carrier Hamburg Süd. Each of the two parties provides one of the service’s two vessels: Polynesia Line brings in the aptly named 1,368 teu POLYNESIA, its only ship, while Hamburg Süd contributes the 1,122 teu CAP TAPAGA. Both ships are charter vessels. Direct ports of call include Oakland, Los Angeles, Papeete, Apia and Pago Pago.
Since the Swire Group has a healthy orderbook of container-friendly multipurpose ships, it does not seem unlikely that the chartered POLYNESIA might be replaced by a Swire-owned ship in the foreseeable future.
In addition to co-operating a container liner service, Polynesia Line also owns a 50% interest in Polynesia Shipping Services (Pago Pago) and Samoa Maritime Services (Apia).