By Laura Barnes
Norasia, a Hong Kong based shipping company, has ramped up its operations to the region via its Asia-Europe route.
A new shipping line providing a direct service to Jeddah on the Asia-Mediterranean route has been opened.
The eastbound service, which will operate to Jeddah and then onto Jebel Ali has been launched by Norasia Container Lines, a member of CSAV Group and Globe Marine Services Co.
The service, Asia Mediterranean Express (AME), links China and south east Asia with Europe, calling in on Middle East ports on the return leg. Norasia will deploy nine vessels for the service, with a capacity of around 4000 TEUs and speeds of 24 knots.
“This will provide excellent transit times between the two regions,” said Vikas Khan, president & CEO, Norasia. “We have ordered 18 new container ships to help with the new route, four of them have been received and the remaining 14 will be delivered to us before the end of 2006,” he added.
Norasia, with its head office in Hong Kong, has more than 22 years of experience in providing services between Europe and the Gulf and is one of the top five reefer operators from Europe to the region. With the new service, a direct line from Felixstowe to Jeddah will take nine days, with cargo reaching Jebel Ali from Felixstowe in 14 days.
From Jebel Ali however, a dedicated feeder service can provide a range of options for onward transit to the upper Gulf, meaning that from Northern Europe there is a wide range of options to get cargo to this fast growing region.
The service originates in Xingang, and its ports of call include Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Yantian, Port Klang, Le Havre, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Felixstowe, Jeddah, Jebel Ali, Port Klang, Yantian, and back to Xinagang.
Over the past 18 months, Norasia has announced the launch of eight new services, responding to the demands of its customers for increased frequency, direct ports and new destinations.