The United Arab Shipping Company is to join China Shipping as co-operator of an intra-Asia regional service. While the two carriers already work together on some deep-sea mainline services, the move marks the pair’s first joint venture in the intra-Asia sector.
Effective 21 September UASC will become a participant and vessel provider on the ‘CTJ’ China – Japan – Thailand service that CSCL (three ships) presently offers in co-operation with Gold Star Line (one ship). At the same time, the Zim affiliate GSL will withdraw from the loop. Hence, the 3,351 teu ASIA STAR of GSL will soon be replaced by the 2,586 teu THOMAS MANN, which UASC is to charter for the service. The United Arab Shipping Company will advertise the new string in its portfolio as its ‘IAC1’.
Despite the operator change, the service’s port rotation remains unaltered and covers: Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Busan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shekou, Laem Chabang, Nansha, Hong Kong, Shekou, Xiamen, Tokyo.
UASC’s participation in the China – Japan – Thailand loop is indicative of the line’s increasing cooperation with CSCL. The carriers nowadays work together on several major trade lanes and each of the shipping lines recently committed to orders for five +18,000 teu container vessels. These vessels are believed to be earmarked for a joint weekly Asia-Europe jumbo loop.