Evergreen and CMA CGM launch new Red Sea route

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 - Page 14

Taiwanese container ship operator Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) said on Thursday it would partner with French-based CMA CGM Group to launch a new shipping route near the southern end of the Red Sea and tap into markets in the region.

Evergreen Marine said the new route, named the South Red Sea Service, would connect Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and countries near the Red Sea.

It could also provide services to landlocked African countries such as Ethiopia through the East African country of Djibouti, the company said.

It said the new service would begin on May 2 with a container ship departing from Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia.

The new route would be served by five 2,200 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels — three operated by Evergreen Marine and two by CMA CGM.

Meanwhile, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) said it would expand its presence in Myanmar.

The country’s basic infrastructure projects present great potential opportunities for the container shipping industry, the firm said.

Yang Ming Marine chairman Frank Lu (盧峰海) said cargo to Iraq is also expected to increase significantly as the country focuses on development projects, solar energy and wind power.

Yang Ming Marine president Robert Ho (何樹生) said the company’s revenue hit the bottom in the first quarter, but business is expected to pick up from the second quarter ahead of the usual peak season in the third.

Yang Ming Marine reported first-quarter revenue of NT$27.46 billion (US$917.3 million), up 4.23 percent from a year earlier. Last month alone, it posted NT$9.19 billion, up 15.63 percent month-on-month and 4.14 percent year-on-year.