Wan Hai Lines is launching a new Asia-South America West Coast service in mid-May, and will assign ten 2,200TEU ships to this route.
The AS1 route will call at Kaohsiung, Shekou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Ensenada, Manzanillo, Buenaventura, Callao and San Antonio before returning to Kaohsiung
Wan Hai said it has been working on adding more services to this lane due to healthy demand. The Taiwanese liner operator is primarily an intra-Asia carrier, but also has Transpacific and Asia-South America services.
As each ship would need 70 days to complete a round voyage, it was decided to assign 10 vessels to AS1.
The only other Asia-South America service Wan Hai operates is the ASA service, which calls at Kaohsiung, Shekou, Hong Kong, Ningbo, Shanghai, Manzanillo, Lazaro Cardenas, Puerto Quetzal, Callao, Guayaquil, Paitas and Kaohsiung.
Through slot purchases on two OCEAN Alliance Far East-South America services, Wan Hai also offers shippers calls at Mexico’s Ensenada port and Chile’s Lirquen and San Antonio ports.
Wan Hai said, “AS1 provides clients with better transit times and more service options. It will also strengthen Wan Hai’s current services to better serve customers’ needs.”
While Asia-South America rates have shown some correction since reaching nearly US$9,000/TEU during the pre-Lunar New Year rush in February, shippers are now paying around US$7,000/TEU, which is still higher than pre-Covid-19 levels.
Port congestion and the slow return of empty containers from the US have resulted in capacity and equipment shortages, boosting rates.