Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Cross-strait direct shipping channels to open on Monday

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A container ship owned and operated by Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) is ready to depart for China’s northern port city of Tianjin on Monday when direct cross-strait shipping links are launched, a corporate source said yesterday.

An Evergreen full-container vessel departing from Kaohsiung Harbor at 10am will be the first Taiwanese commercial ship to sail directly from Kaohsiung to a port in China in more than five decades.

The ship, with a capacity of 1,168 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), is scheduled to sail directly from Kaohsiung to Tianjin’s New Port before heading to the northern ports of Dalian and Qingdao on its way home, an Evergreen spokesman said. One TEU represents the cargo capacity of a standard shipping container 20 feet (6.1m) long and 8 feet (2.4m) wide.

Four container ships owned and operated by Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運), Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (YM, 陽明海運), Taiwan Navigation Co (台灣航業) and China’s Huarong Marine Co (華榮海運) are also scheduled to depart on Monday from the northern port of Keelung.

One of the four vessels with a capacity of 1,500 TEUs is scheduled to depart from Keelung for Kaohsiung Harbor before heading to Shanghai. From Shanghai it will visit other Chinese ports — Dalian, Taicang, Qingdao and Lianyungang — before returning to Keelung, a Yang Ming official said.

A 20,000-tonne bulk carrier owned and operated by Da Sheng Marine Co (達盛海運) is scheduled to depart from Taichung Harbor for China’s Fuzhou Port, where it will load gravel for transport back to Taiwan.

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