Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., South Korea’s top shipping firm, said Wednesday it will launch a regular service linking Asia to Northern Europe in early April.
Hyundai Merchant Marine said it opened “a new Asia-Northern Europe loop in accordance with the increased demand for express service.”
The Asia-Europe Express (AEX) is an independent service operated by Hyundai Merchant Marine outside of its strategic cooperation with 2M, the world’s largest shipping alliance.
The South Korean shipping firm has, until now, used 2M vessels in European trade.
Hyundai Merchant Marine said it will deploy a total of 10 Panamax vessels with a capacity of 4,600 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) for the AEX service, with the first voyage scheduled for April 8 from South Korea’s southeastern port of Busan. TEU is a measurement of a ship’s cargo capacity.
The port rotation of the new service is Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Shenzhen, Singapore, Colombo, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Southampton, Singapore, Hong Kong.
Hyundai Merchant Marine said transit from Busan to Rotterdam takes 30 days, while transit from Busan to Hamburg takes 32 days.
Hyundai Merchant Marine’s handling volume, mainly in trade going through Asia, the U.S. and Europe, increased dramatically to 4.03 million TEU in 2017, up more than 30 percent from a year earlier.