Asia-Australia link for OOCL

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 December, 1997, 12:00am

Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL) has formed a second new grouping, the Asia Australia Alliance, with three other lines.

The announcement comes days after OOCL said it was forming the world's biggest shipping alliance with Malaysia International Shipping Corp (MISC), Hapag-Lloyd, P&O Nedlloyd and Nippon Yusen KK.

That group will have more than 100 deep-sea container vessels serving the main east-west trade markets, including container ports in Asia, Europe and North America.

MISC also is a partner in the Asia Australia consortium, called Triple A. The other members are Mitsui OSK Lines and Pacific International Lines (PIL).

Triple A is expected to start operating early next June with two loops of four vessels.

'The consortium will offer our customers the most comprehensive coverage in Australia and Southeast Asia,' OOCL said.

'It will have enhanced, twice-weekly frequency at Sydney, Melbourne, Port Klang and Singapore and improved transit times.' The first loop, the Torres Express, will have four vessels operating at 18 knots, with OOCL and PIL each contributing two vessels.

The service will call weekly at Port Klang, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle.

The second loop, the Bright Express, will have four vessels travelling at 19.5 knots and call weekly at Port Klang, Singapore, Fremantle, Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Fremantle.

Three ships will be provided by MISC and one by Mitsui.

Triple A will compete with a similar service by Neptune Orient Lines, ANL, P&O Nedlloyd and Djakarta Lloyd which offers a 35-day transit of Port Klang, Singapore, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

OOCL recently announced plans to develop an $835 million international shipping terminal at Sydney's Port Botany under a private concession from the New South Wales state government.

Discussions between the two sides on deal terms are believed to be at an advanced stage. If the franchise goes ahead, OOCL will build and operate a container terminal to take advantage of the city's growing sea trade.

The Sydney talks follow a failed attempt to win a similar franchise in Melbourne.