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Newcomers Sea Legend and Safetrans to link South Korea with Red Sea

Sea Legend Shipping, a start-up running opportunistic Red Sea-China services, is linking its network with Safetrans, which was set up to operate Russia-bound services.

Both companies have recently appointed forwarder Orient Star Logix as their South Korean agent.

In January, Sea Legend, which was established in February 2023, started publicising its services connecting China with Turkey via the Red Sea, filling a gap vacated by mainline operators that rerouted their ships round the Cape of Good Hope in response to threats of Houthi rebels’ attacks.

Sea Legend claims that its 10 ships are escorted by the Chinese navy. Currently, the ships call at Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Nansha, Port Klang, Aden, Djibouti, Jeddah, Sokhna, Aqaba, Port Said, Abu Qir, El Dekheila, and Istanbul. After the service stops at Istanbul, Safetrans will continue to carry containers to the Russian ports of Novorossiysk and St Petersburg.

The ships used by Sea Legend, such as SFT Saudi and OVP Taurus, are known to be owned by Russia-focused carriers Safetrans and OVP Shipping. The latter companies started services to Russia as mainline operators pulled away after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Star Ocean Line stated that depending on market demand, Sea Legend and Safetrans may add Busan to their routes.

The company said: “Sea Legend and Safetrans plan to provide connections to Russia and the Red Sea, with transhipment in Shanghai from early April. Hopefully, we can offer a direct connection between Busan and the Red Sea with the Chinese navy’s protection.”

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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