China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) plans to operate eight new 5,500-5,700 teu post-panamax ships between Asia and Europe by early 2003. The ships, the largest the company has run on this route, will replace nine smaller units of around 4,000 teu capacity currently in service.
The first of the eight arrived in Felixstowe in mid-August, at the end of its westbound voyage from China and southeast Asia. The ship was on a pilot run to examine the operational performance of ports that do not normally handle post-panamax vessels.
CSCL's Far East/Europe service has recently dropped Tianjin and Qingdao as direct calls. The service now calls at Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Port Kelang, Valencia, Felixstowe, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg.