THE confluence of peak southbound volumes, severe weather conditions, and ongoing industrial unrest has induced OOCL to launch a new weekly shuttle between Singapore and Fremantle.

OOCL, now part of COSCO, has scheduled the inaugural southbound departure of the new AWX service for 17 September, with first arrival in Fremantle on 24 September where the 1740 teu Hansa Drakenburg (IMO 9357858) will be serviced at the DP World Australia terminal.

The carrier says the peak season service will supplement Fremantle calls (at Patrick) by its established AAX2 service to provide WA shippers with twice-weekly frequency. AWX transit times will be seven days each way.

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OOCL is already operating extra-loader services in the North & East Asia-Australia trade as part of its membership of the A3 consortium with parent Cosco and ANL, offering fortnightly China-Port Botany sailings that began last month and are projected to continue until mid-November, depending on demand.

The Hong Kong-based OOCL has also scheduled two China-Melbourne extra-loader trips by the 2180 teu Orea – the first due in to Melbourne on10 September – and one China-Port Botany-Brisbane voyage by the 2500 teu Baleares, currently at Port Botany and expected in Brisbane on 8 September.

Over recent months OOCL has also deployed the 1756 teu Nordtiger and 2180 teu Haris on southbound extra-loader voyages and to evacuate empty containers. All carriers in Asian trades are currently moving empties back to load ports as rapidly as possible to meet extraordinary demand, especially in China.

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