Even though demand remains strong on the main container routes, it is rare to hear about the launch of a new shipping line. Recently, however, several new shipping lines have emerged from companies such as German retailer LIDL and UK freight forwarder Allseas Global Logistics. German container rental company Lotus Containers joins ranks with a new shipping line.
Founded in 2008, Lotus reports that it has developed core skills in selling, leasing and buying containers, as well as arranging transport and special projects. The company extends this experience by launching a unique new shipping company called Carrier53′.
They describe the new operations as a fully independent ship operating a common carrier with “proven track record, experience and relationships around the world”. Proclaiming on its website “Helping Break the Supply Chain Crisis with Dedicated Service,” the new line is launching a service this month focusing primarily on Pacific routes between China and the US West Coast. -United. The service is starting with an initial fleet of six general-purpose freighters each of which they say will be able to carry up to 700 TEUs using the largest 53ft boxes.
“Through our modern fleet of multi-purpose owned and chartered vessels and our network of dedicated agents around the world, we offer flexible solutions outside the usual shipping lanes,” the company says in its launch documents. The fleet consists of older vessels built between 2005 and 2011, each ranging between around 32,000 and 38,000 dwt.
Service begins with sailings between Humen and Taicang in China to Portland, Oregon. The company’s road map also shows routes between Qingdao, China and the US terminus in either Portland or Los Angeles from the three Chinese ports. A special trip from Hamburg to Mexico in September and October is also featured on the website.
Services to be offered, according to the website, include ‘Pre-routing, post-routing, door-to-door service, drayage within the United States, and much more – CARRIER53’ offers tailored solutions to one-stop shop”. They advertise that they will provide fast transit times and competitive rates, including a “Go Live” offer to transport 53ft boxes at the price of 40ft units.
FedEx launched a similar service earlier this year, chartering Genco bulk carriers for transporting boxes from China to Port Hueneme, California. At the time, they explained that the boxes were made in China for use on the company’s intermodal freight service and they decided to offer customers the option of shipping goods as and when the boxes were delivered to the United States.
While LIDL plans to dedicate the capacity of its new shipping line to its own goods, intermodal companies have also been attracted to container shipping as an expansion of their services. The American JB Hunt chartered two container ships to start a similar shipping operation to Carrier53″ also sailing between China, California and the Pacific Northwest. Allseas is looking to provide a niche shipping line for customers between Asia and Europe. They chartered six smaller container ships to provide services between China and Bangladesh to the UK and Europe. Allseas has promoted its launch as the first new UK shipping line in 40 years.