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  May 28th, 2013 | Written by

Dispatches June-July ’13

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Asian Connection

Evergreen Line Strengthens Intra-Asia Service Network

To meet the growing market demand on the Intra-Asia trades, Evergreen Line launched its new CPM service linking South China, Philippines and East Malaysia in April. In addition to providing regional transportation links for shippers in three countries, the new loop connects to Evergreen’s global service network via Hong Kong.

Two ships of 1,700 TEU were deployed on the CPM service. The first sailing was planned from Shekou on April 15. The port rotation of the weekly service is: Shekou – Hong Kong – Manila – Kota Kinabalu – Bintulu – Shekou.

Regional economic growth forecasts bolster Evergreen’s expansion of its service network with the launch of the CPM. According to IMF’s World Economic Outlook report published in January, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is forecast to attain economic growth rates of 5.5 percent in 2013 and 5.7 percent in 2014.

In addition, the Southeast Asian countries will begin negotiations to establish the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year together with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. The free trade development that is expected to ensue will further boost cargo growth within the Intra-Asia markets.

Pulling for the Environment

NYK Celebrates Japan’s First Environmentally Friendly Tugboat in Yokohama

PULLING ITS WEIGHT NYK’s new tugboat Tsubasa is equipped to run independently on either its diesel engine or electric motor.
PULLING ITS WEIGHT NYK’s new tugboat Tsubasa is equipped to run independently on either its diesel engine or electric motor.

Wing Maritime Service Corporation held a ceremony on March 27 at Yokohama Port to mark the entry into service of the NYK Group’s tugboat Tsubasa, which features a hybrid propulsion system. A preview of Tsubasa was held on the same day, attended by Yokohama deputy mayor Nobuya Suzuki and a number of other guests. At the ceremony after the preview, the vessel was presented with a video provided by the tugboat builder Keihin Dock Co. Ltd. and Niigata Power Systems Co. Ltd.

Since March 15, Tsubasa has been used in towing operations that help large vessels get into and out of ports, mainly at the port of Yokohama and Kawasaki. She is equipped with a motor generator and high-performance rechargeable batteries in addition to conventional diesel engines. Capable of operating solely on her diesel engines or electric-motors depending upon the operating power needed, a fuel-efficient and low CO2 emission performance is achieved. In addition, the batteries can be charged not only by the onboard power generator but also via electric-power from land. With these environmentally friendly features, the new tugboat is expected to emit 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions in port.

Niigata Power Systems developed and manufactured the Tsubasa hybrid propulsion system.

The NYK Group says it continually strives through Group-wide efforts to reduce the environmental impact of port facilities and marine vessels.

Sharing the Sea

G6 Alliance Announces Port Rotations of New Service Product for Trans-Pacific Trade

After agreeing to expand the successful G6 Alliance to the Trans-Pacific trade earlier this year, the six member lines announced the port rotations of their new comprehensive and competitive service portfolio on March 18.

The new expanded cooperation started in May with six coordinated services in the Asia-to-North America East Coast trade. It deployed more than 50 efficient vessels with capacities between 4,500 and 8,000 TEU to connect about 30 ports in Asia, the United States and Canada’s East Coast, Central America, Caribbean, Indian Sub-continent, Mediterranean and the Middle East to form a fast and reliable service product. Three of the enhanced services transit the Suez Canal while the other three loops sail via the Panama Canal. Compared to the existing Trans-Pacific service offerings of The New World Alliance and the Grand Alliance, the total capacity provision of the new service product by the G6 Alliance is similar.

“The cooperation enables the six member lines to offer an even more comprehensive and tightly meshed service network in this key trade with competitive transit times and increased sailing frequency. Each G6 Alliance member can now offer their clients a significantly increased range of port calls and numerous weekly departures,” the member carriers said in a statement.

The six new loops in the Asia-to-North America East Coast trade are the result of the merger and revision of several existing services separately offered by the two alliances today, plus one entirely new service, the CEC. The two services, APX (The New World Alliance) and PAX (Grand Alliance), will not be affected by the new cooperation and will continue to sail unchanged.

The G6 Alliance started in March 2012 to provide competitive service networks in the Asia-to-Europe trade and will now be expanded to cover the Asia-to-North America East Coast trade. The members are: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.

Sustainable Success

“Green Port Gateway” Rail Project Begins at Port of Long Beach

On March 26, officials in California formally launched an $84 million Port of Long Beach project to remove a railroad bottleneck and build additional on-dock rail capacity to move cargo more efficiently and sustainably.

The “Green Port Gateway” project, funded in part with state and federal transportation dollars, is realigning a critical rail pathway to the port’s southeastern terminals and adding a rail support yard for the its new Middle Harbor Terminal, already under construction.

The project will add a third rail line at Ocean Boulevard, helping to remove bottlenecks on the existing mainline track to allow Port terminals to shift cargo from trucks to trains, which decreases local traffic congestion and air pollution.

Roadwork will also be needed to reconfigure one port thoroughfare to make room for the additional rail line. Overall, about 29,000 feet of track is being added.

The port is funding the project with the help of $27 million from the state’s Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Fund, and another $17 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER III program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery). The construction work, awarded to Ames Construction of Corona, Calif., is generating about 340 jobs now through scheduled completion of the work in July 2014.

The Green Port Gateway—the first of four rail projects already started or expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments—is also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.

The project is part of about $4.5 billion in capital improvements in progress or planned this decade.