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Global Alliance to introduce new services in April

Global alliance partners COSCO Container Lines, Yangming Line and K Line are planning to introduce in April three joint services on the Asia/US East Coast, Asia/Mediterranean and Mediterranean/US East Coast routes.

For COSCO and Yangming, the new services will complement or replace existing joint services.

The new Asia/Mediterranean and Mediterranean/US East Coast services are expected to replace COSCO and Yangming's Asia/Mediterranean/U.S. East Coast "AMA" pendulum. This will effectively divide COSCO-Yangming's service into two separate weekly sections, with one section catering for Asia/Mediterranean cargoes and the other serving Mediterranean/US East Coast traffic.

K Line will join both sections as a new partner and enter the two trades. The three lines said the new Asia/US East Coast AEX哩 service will call at Shanghai, Yantian, Hong Kong, and via Panama to New York, Norfolk, Charleston or Savannah, and then Tokyo, Kobe and Shanghai.

The new Asia/Mediterranean "AMX" service will call at unspecified Chinese ports, then Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Kelang, Colombo, Port Said, Naples, Genoa, Fos, Valencia, Port Said, Singapore, Hong Kong, and then main ports in China, the lines said.

The new Mediterranean/US East Coast service, or "TAS3", becomes the group's third transatlantic string, calling at Naples, Genoa, Barcelona, New York, Norfolk, Charleston or Savannah, and Naples.

These changes are subject to regulatory approval by the relevant authorities. A spokesman for COSCO said that the new services have not been finalized.

The new service arrangement will permit different sizes of ships in each of the round-the-world sections.

Ships of 3,400TEUs each will be used in "AEX," with 3,500-3,800TEU vessels in the "AMX", and 2,000TEU units in the "TAS3," the lines said.

The alliance's regrouping has different implications for each of the three members. K Line gains access to three new trade lanes, COSCO reverts to its original all-water China/US East Coast format via Panama, and Yangming increases its presence.

Yangming already had an Asia/US East Coast all-water service (with Hanjin) and access to a second Asia/Mediterranean string, through the New World Alliance.