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Cosco pulls China-Canada-US express service

COSCO Shipping Lines has withdrawn its express China-Canada-US intermodal service that was launched in October 2021, as carriers continue to trim capacity to respond to falling demand.

Container News was informed that the CEN-EXPRESS service had its last sailing when the Xin Ying Kou arrived at Prince Rupert on 29 November.

The service used five 4,250 TEU ships to move containers from Qingdao and Shanghai in China to Prince Rupert in Canada, from where the containers were railed from DP World’s terminal in Prince Rupert port, via the Canadian National Railway, to Chicago in the United States.

The ships have since been redeployed to COSCO's Pacific Northwest services.

At the time it was launched, CEN-EXPRESS was marketed as an alternative way for shippers to move boxes from China to the US West Coast; at the time, the lane was suffering unprecedented congestion due to Covid-19 restrictions. Since then, however, the situation has reversed, as global economic uncertainties and inflation affects consumption.

Freight rates have fallen to almost the low levels seen before the pandemic, and carriers have been blanking sailings as a result.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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