A new regular sea route for container ships has been opened, connecting Incheon Port to South China, the Philippines and Taiwan.
On May 16, the Incheon Port Authority (IPA) said it started, on May 14, serving a new regular container service route departing from and returning to Incheon Port after visiting South China, the Philippines and Taiwan on May 14.
The first serving ship, which docked at the pier of Korea Express Container Terminal (KECT), was a 1,000 TEU-class Maasholm owned by MCC Transport. The shipping company is an affiliate of the world-renowned Danish shipping company Maersk and specializes in marine freight services in the Asian region.
The Maasholm is one of the three ships that MCC Transport has put into the new service route titled Philippine Feeder 8 (PH8). The other two are 2000-TEU-class vessels.
The route starts from and returns to Incheon, South Korea, after visiting Kwangyang, South Korea; Qingdao, China; Xiamen, China; Hong Kong; Yan Tian, South China; Manila (S), the Philippines; Manila (N), the Philippines; Subic Bay, the Philippines; Taichung, Taiwan; Gwangyang and Incheon once a week.
According to the IPA, the PH8 service has been arranged to enhance the efficiency of service route operations by combining the existing IA1 service (the Incheon to Dalian) and PH5 service (Xiamen through Hong Kong to Manila). The service is expected to facilitate the handling of export cargos bound for the Philippines after shipments in Incheon, Gwangyang, and China, along with handling import cargos from Taiwan.
With PH8 added to the service, the IPA expects an enhancement of the service capabilities and networks to connect Incheon Port to the Philippines and other countries in the “Intra-Asia” zone. The IPA forecasts that it will be able to handle 6,930 TEU through 33 voyages by the end of this year with an expectation of handling10,920 TEU via 52 voyages in 2017.
Kim Soon-cheol, head of marketing team at the IPA, said, “For successful operations of the new route, the IPA will actively promote the route to shippers and forwarders in the Seoul metropolitan area, who handle the cargos bound for the Philippines, while it seeks to provide all the possible supports to deliver enhanced quality services.”
The addition of PH8 to the route has come to enable the Incheon Port to offer a total of 45 regular container route services through 28 shipping companies.
In the meantime, the Maasholm started its first sailing voyage on May 14 after offloading 50 TEU and loading 160 TEU at the Incheon Port and headed for the next destination port in the evening of the same day.