THE overtonnaged Fremantle-South East Asia route is set for rationalisation, with ANL, Cosco SL and subsidiary OOCL to mount a new joint service.

The carriers will combine their respective three-ship AAX-W and two-ship ASAX/AWX services, mostly maintained by c.1800 TEU vessels, with a single operation featuring three of up to 4300 TEU, one supplied by ANL and two by Cosco/OOCL.

The new service, which will retain the individual carrier designations, will operate on a weekly rotation of Singapore, Fremantle, Port Klang, Singapore with the first sailing by the 4334 TEU Singapore scheduled for 28 February from Port Klang and Singapore 1 March, with inaugural arrival Fremantle 8 March. The second vessel will be the 3459 TEU Express Black Sea while the third is listed as one of ANL’s existing AAX-W ships, the 1809 TEU Green Wave, but this is expected to be replaced by a larger vessel for the 1 April position.

In a notice to trade OOCL said the change to AWX was in response to customer feedback on the importance of schedule integrity and a request for greater port coverage: “As a quality carrier that is proud of our continuous focus on sustainability, OOCL are pleased to advise that the upgrade of the AWX service will benefit the environment through a substantial reduction of emissions for the same TEU capacity,” the line said.

ASAX/AWX was launched as a peak-season Fremantle-Singapore shuttle in mid-September 2020 but made permanent the following year. AAX-W launched in March 2023 following a major shake-up of several SE Asia-Australia services.

The route is covered by a number of other services, including MSC’s Capricorn (southbound), the MSC/CMA CGM AES/NEMO (northbound), the Maersk/Hapag-Lloyd/ONE WAC/AU2/WAU, ANL/Hapag-Lloyd/Maersk/ONE’s AAX-S/GAC/SAL/AU1, and the Triple A consortium (Cosco SL, OOCL, PIL)’s AAA2 loop.