China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) is reducing the frequency of its recently introduced AAS2 service on the Pacific from weekly to fortnightly, on what it calls a temporary basis. The move is due to an expected downturn in volumes in the slack season post-Chinese New Year. But it is also being seen as a possible indication that the China/Europe trade offers more market potential for the company.
The new AAS2 service picked up on high volumes during the end of the peak trans- Pacific season, particularly over central China. It was part of a plan by CSCL to split the existing AAS1 service, which then deployed five 5,500 teu vessels, into two separate services. The AAS1 is now being downgraded to vessels of around 4,000 teu, as CSCL switches the larger vessels to the important Asia/Europe trade.
From early March, the company's trans- Pacific coverage will be five 4,000 teu vessels operating weekly on the AAS1, and three 2,500 teu vessels operating fortnightly on the AAS2 service. The port coverage of AAS1 is: Shanghai, Yantian, Hong Kong, Pusan, Los Angeles and Shanghai, on a weekly schedule. AAS2 will serve: Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Hong Kong, Keelung, Hakata, Pusan, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Ningbo, on a fortnightly schedule.