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Increased connectivity between Asia and Papua New Guinea to benefit local businesses and community

Swire Shipping recently enhanced both its North Asia Express (NAX) and Southeast Asia (SEA) services

Swire Shipping operates 13 liner services connecting over 400 ports via an extensive network of services in the Asia-Pacific and globally. Dedicated to facilitating and growing trade in regions where it operates, the company operates a fleet of owned and chartered vessels to provide a wide range of specialist customer solutions for containerised, project, heavy lift, breakbulk and mini-bulk cargoes.

A fixed-day fortnightly service from North Asia to PNG

In November, Swire Shipping launched its fixed-day fortnightly North Asia Express (NAX) service with the deployment of its newest 2,750teu vessel, MV Lae Chief. The newly upgraded service will connect North Asia with Papua New Guinea and Australia with a market-leading frequency of 14 days and offers market-leading transit times to and from major ports in the region.

Under this enhancement, customers can look forward to a nine-day transit time from Hong Kong SAR to Lae.

Making its first PNG port call at Port Moresby on 27 November 2020, MV Lae Chief, at 2,750teu nominal capacity, is Swire Shipping’s largest container vessel calling in PNG. The vessel subsequently called at Lae on 22 November 2020 and was warmly received by a small contingent from PNG Ports, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), local press and Swire Shipping staff.

To commemorate this occasion, a contactless plaque presentation ceremony was held at the port of Lae. In his opening address, Alistair Skingley, Country Manager for Swire Shipping in PNG, said, “Swire Shipping has a proud association and legacy with PNG, and the Pacific region for more than 80 years. We aim to enrich lives by connecting customers with communities in the Pacific. To be able to welcome Lae Chief in Lae itself is very meaningful indeed.”

Increased frequency from Southeast Asia to PNG

Shortly after launching its upgraded NAX service, Swire Shipping announced that it will enhance its Southeast Asia (SEA) service from December 2020 to connect Southeast Asia, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, Europe, Africa and USA with Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands on an 11-day frequency using two loops.

The service enhancement will increase the number of port calls into Port Moresby and improve the interval times between vessels arriving in Lae. Port Moresby will be served with a market leading frequency of 11 days, a significant upgrade from a 22-day frequency. Customers shipping from Singapore and Malaysia to Motukea Port in Port Moresby on the SEA service can look forward to a transit time of only nine days.

The new rotations for the SEA service’s two loops will be as follows:

Loop 1 (Challenger loop)

Port Klang - Singapore - Motukea - Lae - Honiara - Lihir - Kimbe - Port Klang

*Oro Bay and Alotau will be serviced as ad-hoc calls.

Loop 2 (New Guinea Shuttle loop)

Port Klang - Singapore - Jakarta - Motukea - Lae - Lihir - Rabaul - Madang - Port Klang

Following the changes to the two loops on the SEA service, customers can expect better spacing between arrivals into Lae. The initial three and 19-day interval time between voyages into Lae will now be improved to a 13 and 15-day interval.

Mr Jeremy Sutton, General Manager of Swire Shipping, said, “We are excited to announce the upgrade of our Southeast Asia service which will boost our services to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. These enhancements will benefit our customers and their supply chains on the Papua New Guinea-Southeast Asia trade.”

New, modern vessels deployed to support growth in the region

Swire Shipping will deploy three 2,750teu and four 2,400teu newbuild vessels, on the upgraded NAX and SEA services respectively, offering its customers and the communities it serves reliable products that will support continued growth in the region.

Both the 2,400teu and 2,750teu newbuild vessels are fitted with three 45mt cranes capable of dual lifts, ensuring that they are well-equipped to carry all cargo types, including breakbulk, out of gauge and reefers. Equipped with 75T SWL stoppers, lashing eyes and strengthened tank tops to 20t/m², the vessels are well-suited to handle both containerised and non-containerised cargo including breakbulk such as steel and forest products, as well as vehicles up to 70t.

Commenting on the deployment of Swire Shipping’s newly built vessels, Mr Jeremy Sutton, General Manager of Swire Shipping, said, “Communities in the Pacific rely heavily on seaborne trade to supply essential goods such as food, fuel, equipment, industrial materials and manufactured products, and to export commodities vital to global growth. Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to look to the future as we phase in our newbuild vessels, improve our network coverage and launch new digital products.”

“By deploying these new ships on our upgraded service, customers will enjoy a more frequent product, delivered on fixed-days and with the ability for future growth,” added Mr Sutton.

Committed to the PNG community

Swire Shipping has a long history operating in the Pacific and PNG remains a key market for the company. The company has made significant investments in modern vessels and improving schedule reliability, which underpins its commitment to enriching lives by connecting its customers with the communities in the Pacific.

To highlight its commitment to the region, Swire Shipping named its first 2,750teu newbuild, MV Lae Chief.

In addition to offering reliable services connecting PNG to the world, Swire Shipping is also committed to supporting the local community. Mr Jeremy Sutton, General Manager of Swire Shipping, said, “We have invested significantly in Project Cerulean and the Moana Taka Partnership to benefit the local communities, and we are confident that the fixed-day fortnightly service and the deployment of new, modern vessels to the Pacific will also enable our customers and communities to thrive in the long term.”

In October 2020, Swire Shipping donated K30,000 to Port Moresby Nature Park to help the park overcome its struggle to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also teamed up with Australian charity HEAPS International Foundation Ltd in 2019 to support educational needs for remote village children in the Sepik River region.

Said Alistair Skingley, Country Manager for Swire Shipping in PNG, “We feel part of the community and support environmentally sustainable projects that provide educational opportunities in that community wherever possible.”

Swire Shipping is the brand name for all liner shipping services operated by The China Navigation Company Pte Ltd (CNCo), the oldest operating entity of John Swire and Sons Limited.

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