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CULines and Antong strengthen cooperation

China United Lines (CULines) and Antong Holdings, parent of Quanzhou Ansheng Shipping, have signed a pact to jointly invest in shipping and logistics.

The agreement includes the joint deployment of four 1,900 TEU ships that CULines ordered at CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding in February 2021 and are being gradually delivered currently.

The pact, signed on 22 September, extends a relationship which already saw CULines charter a dozen  4,100 – 4,700 TEU ships from Antong for the East-West trades in 2021. CULines is also understood to have taken two smaller ships of 600 TEU from Antong for the intra-Asia trade.

CULines said that given Antong’s higher proportion of owned tonnage, the arrangement has allowed it to reduce its has enabled it to reduce the ratio of its chartered fleet to 20%, at a time of high charter costs.

The strategy also helped CULines to move up the liner operator ranks from 95th place in 2020 to 20th spot today, without substantial newbuilding orders.

CULines expanded into the transpacific and Asia-Europe in 2021, while last November, it appointed Lars Christiansen, former director of Hapag-Lloyd, as co-CEO alongside Raymond Chen.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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