16 July 2003

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APL shifts Mediterranean operations from Gioia Tauro to Malta Freeport

The internationally renowned shipping line APL recently chose the Malta Freeport's facilities for its transhipment operations in the Mediterranean. APL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore based Neptune Orient Lines and the carrier decided to start calling at Malta Freeport in a twofold arrangement. APL joined two major clients of the Freeport in the creation of the Sunda Express and It has also reached an agreement with the CMA-CGM Group to use its slots for vessels that operate between China and Malta Freeport.
Lloyd's List recently reported that Gioia Tauro, Malta Freeport's major competitor, has lost the custom of the New World Alliance members, namely APL, MOL and Hyundai Merchant Marine. Indeed, the New World Alliance members pulled their Asia-Europe Express string out of Gioia Tauro last month and informed the terminal's owner, Contship Italia, that the remaining Japan/Asia-MediterraneanlNorthern Europe string would also cease calling at Gioia Tauro at the end of this month. Lloyd's List said that the departure of these two strings would reduce Gioia Tauro's traffic volumes by an estimated 50,000 containers next year.
APL's fleet of more than eighty containerships serves more than 12,000 locations in 140 countries and services are available to and from North, South, and West Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, East and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Australia. APL deploys over 450,000 containers and chassis worldwide ensuring that containers are available in the size and configuration needed. The shipping line has offices in more than 80 countries worldwide. APL's sister company, APL Logistics, specialises in supply-chain management services.
This year is proving to be another successful one for the company and the Freeport is confident that this year's throughput level will exceed last year's record-breaking figure of over 1.24 million TE Us.
In more new business for the Freeport, Sunda Express, the fixed-day weekly service linking Asia and Europe, has also started calling at the Malta Freeport, with the containership Fort St Pierre being the first vessel to call at the Port.
This service will be operated by the CMA-CGM Group and Norasia Container Lines, both of them major clients of the Freeport and APL, a member of the New World Alliance. Sunda Express will be served with seven vessels, with a capacity of around 3,000 TEUs each. The rotation of the service will be: Jakarta, Singapore, Port Klang, Malta Freeport, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Zeebrugge, Piraeus and Jakarta.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, 2 Cali House, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta
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