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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekly Container service from Chennai Port to Shanghai Port

Triplicane boasts of Marina beach,  one of the great coastlines where you can enjoy the tranquility of sea  and wonder the ships that sail  on the Bay of Bengal.  From the tiny village of Chennapatnam in 1639 to the present day metropolis Madras aka Chennai has grown immensely.  In the 18th century, British East India Company converted the open roadstead to a port though the transportation from ships was by way of lighters.   Chennai Port, an artificial port of over 125 years of existence,  is the second largest port of India.  From a predominant travel port, it is a container port today enabling growth of trade exports of industrial houses of South India.  Presently it is ranked 91st largest container port.

This port was in the news as  Maersk Line announced the launch of its new Far East-Chennai weekly service to be known as the Chennai Express (CHX) service from September 14, 2010.  Maersk Line is one of the leading liner shipping companies in the world, serving customers all over the globe.   The Maersk Line fleet comprises more than 500 vessels and a number of containers corresponding to more than 1,900,000 TEU.

The distance between Chennai and the Port of Shanghai is 4547 NM and at 10 NM would take around 19 days of sea travel.    The port rotation for this new weekly service of Maersk  is: Shanghai - Yantian - Tanjung Pelepas - Port Klang - Chennai - Vishakhapatnam - Tanjung Pelepas – Shanghai.   Four vessels of around 2,900 TEU capacities each  are to be  deployed on this service.  The transit time of CHX service from Shanghai to Chennai is 13 days.   During the launch of the service, Maersk Line spokesperson had stated that they are targeting the Far East to South East India route through this direct service which will be reliable for consumer durables, personal care prducts and other transit-sensitive goods.   The service promises to connect two of the fastest growing regions (India and China) and underlines Maersk Line's commitment to South and East India directly covering East China, South China and South East Asia.   The transit time of the CHX service ex-Shanghai to Chennai will be 13 days and provides amongst the best transit times in the market.
Another group MISC also launched a service and  the first of the services called at  Chennai recently.    Vessel MV Stadt Sevilla made its maiden call on Halal Express Loop 2 after MISC launched its weekly service from Shanghai and Chennai.  This is the group’s second service within six months.  Going by the Press reports, the vessel brought in 194 TEU and would load 210 TEU from the port.  The port rotation for this new weekly service is: Shanghai–Pusan–Qingdao–Singapore–Port Kelang–Nhava Sheva–Chennai– Singapore–Shanghai.
a container vessel at port
Four vessels of around 2526 to 2824 TEU capacities each will be deployed on this weekly service, with the vessel calling Chennai on every Sunday afternoon. HE2 provides fastest transit  from Chennai to Shanghai, a transit time of 9 days. This will be a value addition to the EXIM trade in South India.The Halal Express service is a concept introduced by MISC  (Malaysia International Shipping Corporation) supports the transportation of halal products throughout the world. 
The increase in traffic and opening of more regular routes augur well for the Port of Chennai and industry of India.

Regards – Sampathkumar S.


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