APL today launches a container service to and from India, serving the new Nhava Sheva state-of-the-art container terminal a few miles east of Bombay. The service will call at Colombo, Sri Lanka, for connection to its Europe service and at Singapore for connection to its line-haul services to and from North America and Asia. Sundeep Sibal, APL's managing director for India, said Nhava Sheva was free of the congestion that plagued India's outmoded port system. The problem has substantially increased supply chain costs of manufacturers and retailers. APL, the container shipping arm of Neptune Orient Lines, forecast that India's exports to North America and Europe would grow by 9 to 11 per cent this year. APL will provide a fixed-day sailing schedule weekly. It has a special advance berthing reservation at the port, which would suit exporters and importers of perishable or time-sensitive shipments such as seafood and electronic components. The port is India's first purpose-built container port with substantial room for expansion. Transit times will improve after APL and its alliance partners introduce new line-haul services next month. The service will take 12 days from Hong Kong, 30 days from the US West Coast and 33 days from Rotterdam.