Swire Shipping announced today that Westwood Shipping Lines (Westwood), a niche vessel operator specialising in the trade between the Pacific Northwest and Northeast Asia, will change its name to Swire Shipping effective 1 February 2024. Swire Shipping acquired Westwood in June 2022 as part of a growth strategy to expand its liner network in North America.
The rebranding builds on Westwood’s deep legacy in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast Asia, and enables a more seamless customer experience, leveraging synergies and capabilities in containers, networks, and projects across the global Swire Shipping network to better serve customers throughout North America, Japan, South Korea, and China.
“The integration of Westwood Shipping Lines reflects our continued investment and expansion in the North Pacific. With our shared values of safety, operational excellence, sustainability, and reliability, we are poised to elevate our services and provide an even stronger value proposition for our customers,” said Ben Pike, Chief Operating Officer, Swire Shipping.
Swire Shipping will continue to operate its Puyallup, WA, office as the regional hub for its North America operations. Seven vessels from the Swire Shipping owned fleet will operate on the Westwood service within the expanded global network, with four vessels retaining their existing Westwood name and green hulls in a nod to its 130-year legacy.
Harry Stones, newly appointed President of Swire Shipping North America, said, “With its reputation for reliability and quality, Westwood has built a loyal following among customers and service partners in North America and North Asia. This marks the start of an exciting new chapter, as we look to expand our capabilities and further establish ourselves within the region as a leading provider of innovative global shipping and logistics solutions. The Westwood service will complement Swire Shipping’s other services in North America with the Sun Chief Express Ocean Service and the US West Coast – Pacific Islands service.”
In recognition of the strong ties with Japanese customers and their supply chains, as well as to strengthen its transpacific reach, Swire Shipping also announced the establishment of a new office in Tokyo, Japan, bringing representation in-house and enabling more direct engagement with customers.
Chris Robertson, General Manager, Asia and Northern Hemisphere, Swire Shipping, added, “Swire Shipping has a long-standing presence in Japan and South Korea. The rebranding of Westwood Shipping Lines further strengthens our position in these important markets. Moreover, in a move that sets us apart in the Japanese market, we have transferred our representation in Tokyo to our own branch office, reflecting our commitment to customers and our confidence in the region’s growth potential.”
This move allows Swire Shipping to consolidate its agency representations in Japan by bringing agency representations previously held by Ben Line Agencies (Japan) Ltd and Senwa Maritime Agency Ltd in-house. To maintain strong customer relationships and ensure continuity, staff from Ben Line Agencies and Senwa Maritime will be transferred to the new Swire Shipping branch office.