FESCO and HMM reshuffle container shipping routes in East Asia

SOUTH Korean container shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Russian Far East intermodal box transport specialist, FESCO, have unveiled a string of amendments to their Russia-China-Korea shipping operations

06 May 2019 - 19:00

SOUTH Korean container shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Russian Far East intermodal box transport specialist, FESCO, have unveiled a string of amendments to their Russia-China-Korea shipping operations.

In addition, rail specialist FESCO has also announced extensive Russia-China box-rail services, reported New York's FreightWaves.

The two companies have been operating a China-Korea-Russia weekly service together with French shipping line CMA CGM. The service has been operated by HMM under the name China Russia North (CRN). That service will change its rotation to Qingdao-Shanghai-Ningbo-Vladivostok, effective from May 14.

HMM and FESCO will add two new services between South Korea and Russia, which HMM calls Korea Russia Service (KRS) and Korea Russia 2 (KR2). The KRS will commence operations on May 14 and KR2 will start on May 11.

The South Korean company says that FESCO will deploy one 1,200 TEU ship onto KRS between Busan, on the south-east tip of South Korea, and Vladivostok, Far East Russia. HMM will deploy one ship of 1,000 TEU onto KR2 between Busan and Vostochny port at the city of Nakhodka, also in Far East Russia.

A HMM spokesperson said 'HMM expects to provide a faster and more reliable service through increased cooperation with FESCO - based on those three services, HMM will strengthen its market position in Russia'.

However, somewhat confusingly, FESCO describes the shipping services slightly differently.

FESCO names one of its services as the FESCO China Express and says that the route is Vladivostok-Vostochny-Shekou-Yantian-Xiamen-Ningbo-Shanghai-Vladivostok. It will have an alternate, faster route called 'Eastern Arrow' which will follow the route Vladivostok-Qingdao-Shanghai-Ningbo-Vladivostok. This latter route appears to correlate to the CRN route as described by HMM.

FESCO says that the transit times from Ningbo to Vladivostok will be cut from from five to three days and that the Vladivostok to Shanghai route will take four days compared to the previous seven days.

The Russian company also talks of its Russian Far East/Korea routes. Stating that operations commence on May 14, which correlates with the date given by HMM for the KRS service, the FESCO Korea Express will be split into three routes.

The first will run Busan-Vladivostok (with a 36-hour transit time). The second will run the Busan-Vostochny route (36 hours) and the third, Busan-Korsakov will take five days. Korsakov is a small town on the shores of Aniva Bay, which is at the southern end of Sakhalin Island, just to the north of Japan's Hokkaido island. The two islands are separated by the La Perouse Strait.FAXTEXT = FESCO operates the port at Vladivostok, which has a throughput capacity of five million tonnes of general cargo and oil products, 150,000 vehicles and 600,000 TEU of containers. FESCO operates a fleet of 21 ships. It also provides rail surface transport and operates 14,000 units of rolling stock and 40,000 international shipping boxes.

FESCO announced earlier this month that it had struck a deal with marine terminal operator 'Sea Fishing Port Terminal', which operates at the port in St Petersburg in European Russia. The two companies will offer reciprocal usage of their boxes, container terminal facilities and rolling stock. The two companies aim to launch a weekly container service between St Petersburg and Vladivostok and later expand that service to other parts of the Russian Federation.

Also announced this month was a deal between FESCO and DB Cargo, a European rail freight carrier, to develop a landside reefer box service between Russia and China. Boxes will run from the Russian capital of Moscow to ports in China via Vladivostok with a delivery time of up to 25 days. A return service will also be available. On a straight-line basis that's a distance of 4,000 miles.

'The expansion of the geography of container transportation, as well as the development of non-commodity exports are strategic priorities. We expect that cooperation with DB Cargo will allow us to increase the transportation volume and optimise logistic solutions on the routes Russia-China-Russia due to return load,' said FESCO president Alexander Isurin.


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