Wan Hai Lines of Taiwan and Japanese intra-Asia carrier Interasia Lines will launch a new service that connects the Pearl River Delta ports with Vietnam and Thailand, in another sign of growing container volumes from emerging Southeast Asian markets.
Each liner operator will deploy a 1,200TEU ship to the CV6 service, which will set out from Hong Kong on 6 March 2020, calling at Nansha and Shekou in China, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, as well as Bangkok and Laem Chabang in Thailand.
Wan Hai president Tommy Hsieh said that amid the US-China trade tension, manufacturers have shifted some output from China to Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam. Therefore the company expects earnings will rise by adding more services to the region.
In 2018, Wan Hai’s container volumes from Vietnam grew more than other countries as the Southeast Asian country became the second-largest source of US imports in Asia. This growth also saw Wan Hai start two direct services from Vietnam to the US West Coast.
The company has eight 3,036 TEU ships on order at Japan Marine United Corporation and a dozen 2,038 TEU ships on order at Guangzhou Wenchong Shipbuilding. The newbuildings will be delivered from October 2020 to January 2021, and Hsieh said that Wan Hai is confident that the new ships will have sufficient cargoes from Southeast Asia.
In the first three quarters of 2019, Wan Hai’s net profit surged by 185% from a year-ago, to TW$2.39 billion (US$77 million). Wan Hai said that profit for the full year is set to reach a four-year high.
Wan Hai is primarily an intra-Asia carrier, with 70% of its income derived from intra-Asia services, in which the company’s market share is around 15%. Wan Hai now operates 89 vessels with total capacity of 255,300TEU, including 66 owned ships. Interasia operates 12 vessels of combined capacity of 26,385TEU, including four owned ships.