COSCO Shipping Lines has announced it is launching a trans-Tasman shipping service next month.

The Australia New Zealand Express (ANE) service will sail between Melbourne, Bell Bay, Sydney and Auckland.

COSCO plans to launch the service on 15 May, deploying one 1100-TEU ship, MV Contship Yen on the route.

The fortnightly service is to begin in Melbourne and sail directly to Bell Bay in Tasmania, then Sydney, then Auckland.

“The successful opening of the ANE service will expand the trade route between international ports and Tasmania via Australian mainland ports, marking the further improvement of the Australia-New Zealand service network,” COSCO said in a notice.

“It provides high-quality and comprehensive logistics solutions for enterprises in Australia and New Zealand.

“In the future, COSCO Shipping Lines will continue to focus on globalisation, digitalisation and end-to-end strategies, expand the service network in Australia and New Zealand, actively contribute to stabilising foreign trade and maintaining growth.”

COSCO said the new service extends the company’s network to empower businesses to expand their trade.