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Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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RCL expands China-Indian subcontinent links

Thai feeder operator Regional Container Lines is enhancing its connections between China and the Indian subcontinent, through slot purchases on CMA CGM's North China-India service and COSCO Shipping Line's South China-India service.

RCL will buy slots on the CMA CGM’s AS1 service, which co-loads containers from the French carrier’s Ocean Alliance partner COSCO.

The Thai operator will market this service as the North China-Straits-India service. Calling at Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Singapore, Mumbai, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, Karachi, Singapore and Qingdao, the service uses six ships of 7,500 to 9,500TEU.

RCL will also purchase slots on the South China-India leg of COSCO Shipping Line’s AACI service, which goes to the US West Coast. This South China-India leg calls at Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Nansha, Singapore, Port Klang, Karachi, Nhava Sheva, Colombo, Laem Chabang, Haiphong and Shanghai, using 12 ships of 9,500 to 10,000TEU. The Thai operator will market this service as the South China-Straits-India service.

RCL’s entry into the services will begin by the end of October, and the loops will give the Thai operator a direct link between China and Pakistan through the Karachi gateway.

Container shipping consultancy Alphaliner suggested that RCL’s arrangements may change the Thai operator’s RNI service, which it operates through buying slots on Maersk Line’s FE2 service.

The consultancy noted that RCL is concurrently offering a direct connection between South Korea and Western India by its RKI service, by buying slots on the China India Express service operated by CMA CGM, OOCL and Gold Star Line.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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