Maersk Line’s regional unit Sealand has launched two new intra-Asia services with calls at Incheon, reflecting growing container trade between the South Korean port and Southeast Asia.
Incheon Port Authority (IPA), which has been promoting Incheon as a gateway into Seoul, announced that Sealand’s IA8 service called at Hanjin Incheon Container Terminal in Incheon New Port for the first time on 18 February 2020.
IA8’s previous loop was China (Dalian, Xingang, Qingdao and Lianyungang), Malaysia (Tanjung Pelepas), Singapore, Indonesia (Jakarta and Surabaya), Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Keelung) and Dalian.
In view of greater trade between Incheon and Indonesia, the IA8 service was adjusted.
Prior to the adjustment of the IA8 service, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Korea Marine Transport Company (KMTC Line), Sinokor Merchant Marine and TS Lines had been running a joint intra-Asia service connecting Incheon with Southeast Asia.
Sealand has deployed six 5,500 TEU ships to the IA8 service.
In 2019, 71,805 TEU of containers were shipped between Incheon and Indonesia, making the route the seventh busiest out of Incheon, South Korea’s third-busiest container port after Busan and Gwangyang.
Chemical products are mainly shipped from Incheon to Indonesia, which exports raw materials to South Korea.
In addition, on 23 February, Sealand launched a new service, IA88, that connects Incheon with China, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. In 2019, Incheon’s container trade with Vietnam and Thailand was 330,841 TEU and 117,104 TEU, respectively.
Maersk Line previously operated intra-Asia services under the MCC Transport brand until September 2018, when the Danish giant rebranded all its regional services under the Sealand name.