SEA-LAND Service is focusing on expansion in China, according to Gary Gilbert, vice-president and general manager (Central Asia).
The company is in discussions with major port operators in China to operate and manage container terminals there, he said.
''The long-term plan is to provide intermodal services in China,'' he said.
In 1992, Sea-Land was licensed by the Chinese Government as a wholly owned shipping company, enabling it to operate and market its own services in China.
Sea-Land operates two container berths in Xiamen, opposite Taiwan.
Mr Gilbert said the company was ''eagerly waiting'' for shipping links to be resumed across the Taiwan Strait.
The Xiamen berths were expected to handle 160,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) this year.
Throughput was expected to rise to 250,000 TEUs next year, he said.
He said a third berth would be built as soon as Taiwan and China resumed direct shipping links.
The company runs a weekly feeder service to and from Xiamen and Hong Kong with a 650-TEU ship and claims the largest market share on the route.
Negotiations were also continuing with Shanghai Harbour Bureau to operate a container depot there, Mr Gilbert said.
On April 1, Mr Edward Aldridge will succeed Mr Gilbert, who has been vice-president and general manager, with responsibility for the company's marketing, operations and administration in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan since 1987.