Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL) has inaugurated its north Japan express (NJX) service. The fixed-day, weekly service was launched through a vessel-sharing arrangement with Singapore-based Advance Container Lines. It links six gateway ports in north Japan - Oyama, Niigata, Tomakomai, Hachinohe, Sendai and Hitachi - to Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. 'We are offering our customers a cost-efficient option at these ports by direct calling as well as integrating them with OOCL's extensive global service network at Kaohsiung where OOCL has full control of transshipment operations at our own container terminals and on-dock reconsolidation facilities,' Philip Chow, managing director of OOCL (Asia Pacific), said. OOCL launched its Shikoku-Taiwan service last year calling at Matsuyama, Iyomishima and Hososhima in Japan and Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. The carrier also launched the Kawasaki/Osaka-Taiwan/ Hong Kong (KTX) service last month. Last week, OOCL celebrated the maiden voyage of OOCL France from Le Havre Container Terminal at a special reception hosted by OOCL (France).