Two of the world's largest shipping lines, France's CMA-CGM and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), will launch a new trans-Pacific loop in the second half of 2004.
The lines will pool five new 8,000 teu ships, the biggest container ships ever deployed on global shipping lanes. They will serve Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Hong Kong, Pusan, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
For CMA-CGM, the new service will replace the existing Transpacific Express. For MSC, the new service will replace its only coverage of the US west coast via the pendulum service that continues through the Panama Canal to the US east coast. The new vessel-sharing agreement is likely to increase capacity by around 200,000 teu a year.
In addition, CMA-CGM will launch a new north China/US service this month with five ships, each around 2,700 teu capacity.