New shipping route connecting Vietnam and US to be launched in May

The new service will be calling Vietnam and Yantian (China) with direct connections, and best-in class transit times, to the U.S. South Atlantic ports of Savannah and Charleston, as well as New York.
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The new service to the US East Coast comes as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach remain overwhelmed by the massive import surge that began in the second half of last year. Photo credit: MSC.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has announced the upcoming launch of a new weekly service, the Palmetto, from Asia to US East Coast.

The new service will be calling Vietnam and Yantian (China) with direct connections, and best-in class transit times, to the U.S. South Atlantic ports of Savannah and Charleston, as well as New York. The rotation will be operated through Panama Canal on the way to the US.

MSC said this new service will allow it to improve the distribution of the cargo flows in its existing network and to improve the schedule reliability for its customers, among all service strings on the trade.

The company expects to launch this new service from Asia during May, subject to compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.

The new service to the East Coast comes as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach remain overwhelmed by the massive import surge that began in the second half of last year and continues to snarl all parts of the supply chain.

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In just five years, Vietnam’s share of footwear exports to the US has grown from 18 percent to 29 percent. Photo: VNA

Data from PIERS, a sister company of JOC.com within IHS Markit, shows that the US East Coast saw a 1.97 percent year-over-year gain in Asia imports in 2020, compared with the US West Coast’s 3.93 percent gain.

While US retailers and other importers turned to Chinese factories last year after getting caught flat-footed by a surge in demand, Vietnam over the last five years has enjoyed the largest shifting in sourcing of lower-value goods away from China.

For example, in just five years, Vietnam’s share of footwear exports to the US has grown from 18 percent to 29 percent, while China’s share fell from 41 percent to 30 percent in the same period, according to PIERS.

Earlier, MSC said it is introducing a new container shipping service in order to fulfil customer demand for cargo between southeast Asia and the US west coast and with a view to improving reliability in the transpacific network at a time when the entire market remains under considerable systemic pressure.

The new Sentosa service is a dedicated MSC line to link southeast Asia with the Pacific South West market and to catalyse trade between countries such as Thailand and Vietnam and the US west coast.

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The new Sentosa service is expected to start in early April. Photo: MSC

It should enable a significantly improved transit time for MSC customers shipping goods between southeast Asia and California, ensuring that MSC retains a direct Laem Chabang – Long Beach call (in both directions) within its transpacific network. This compensates for the removal of a Laem Chabang – US call on the Jaguar service, which is being announced separately.

The addition of the Sentosa service is intended to improve the distribution of cargo flow across the various existing services and port terminals either side of the Pacific, enhancing schedule reliability in this region.

This service is expected to start in early April with the MSC ORNELLA and its rotation will be as follows: Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Laem Chabang – Vung Tau – Long Beach – Shanghai – Ningbo – Xiamen – Singapore./.

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