APL to start all-water run between Asia and Panama
AMERICAN President Lines (APL), a market leader in transpacific container trade, says it will launch an expedited all-water service from Asia to Panama, the Caribbean and the north coast of South America by the week of March 20, with a westbound service to Asia starting in the week of April 24.
The service will be supported by APL's global telecommunications system, and will provide Latin American customers with access to the firm's Asian and Middle Eastern service network of 33 key ports and about 550 service points, the most extensive in the container-transport industry.
Joseph Donlin, APL's international sales director for Latin America, said the new service would relay Caribbean and Latin American cargoes over a modern new container terminal at Colon, Panama, in conjunction with an all-water service from Asia to the United States east coast that is being introduced jointly by APL and its 'global alliance' partners.
The alliance includes Mitsui OSK Line of Japan, Nedlloyd Line of the Netherlands and Orient Overseas Container Line of Hong Kong.
Service frequency will initially be every 10 days, increasing to a weekly service by August.
APL's all-water service points in Latin America, in addition to Colon, will include Puerto Cabello and La Guaira in Venezuela and Cartagena in Colombia.
All-water service points in the Caribbean will, beginning in August, include San Juan and Rio Haina, in the Dominican Republic, both of which the company will continue to serve until that time through its Los Angeles ocean gateway and an intermodal route over New Orleans.
APL had previously served Panama via an intermodal route over Miami.
Since the all-water route between Asia and Panama will be a direct, non-stop service, delivery reliability will be improved and key transit times, slashed or made more consistent.
For example, service from Tokyo to Panama via the all-water service will take 16 days, instead of the 25 days it took under through the intermodal service.
APL's service from Singapore to Cartagena will be 29 days, compared with a previous range of between 30 and 44 days, depending on connections.
The service from Puerto Rico to Yokohama will be a consistent 28 days. The previous transit time ranged from 26 to 36 days.
APL's service points on the US east coast via the all-water service will include Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and New York.
While APL's intermodal services over the US west coast continue to provide substantially superior transit times, Mr Donlin said the all-water route to or from Asia could offer an alternative for commodity shippers.
He said the Californian-based firm would distinguish its service to Latin America in ways that were increasingly important to many customers.