TS Lines (registered in Hong Kong and operated from Taiwan) last weekend launched a weekly China - Vancouver 'North West 1' service ('NW1') with the sailing of the 1,808 teu TS TOKYO ex Nansha on 2 October. The first call at Vancouver is scheduled for 19 October.
The new 'NW1' is a standalone service turning in five weeks with five 1,750 - 2,550 teu ships, calling at Nansha, Shekou, Shanghai, Qingdao, Vancouver, Nansha. Its launch coincides with some changes in TS Lines’ intra-Asian network, which allow the carrier to re-deploy the 1,808 teu sisters vessels TS TOKYO and TS BANGKOK on the new China - WCNA loop.
The carrier entered the Far East - WCNA trade a first time in November 2010 as partner of the Chinese operator Hainan PO Shipping, but left the trade again at the end of 2011 when the partnership ended. Current trading conditions between Asia and North America cannot be compared to 2011, when both freight rates and cargo demand were weak, while spot freight rates have been at historical highs last summer.
TS Lines is clearly in an expansion mode this year. It has ordered ships of up to 7,000 teu to reduce its charter expenses. The carrier’s orderbook meanwhile includes four 7,000 teu ships, three ships of 2,700 teu, five vessels of 1,900 teu, and eight 1,100 teu units.
(Reference source: Alphaliner)