New trans-Pacific service links Vietnam to US

Mediterranean Shipping Co. will launch a new, direct trans-Pacific service linking China and Vietnam to the US East Coast this spring.
March 17, 2021 | 12:32
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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. Photo credit: MSC.

The weekly “Palmetto” service will call on Vietnam and Yantian, China, and provide direct connections to Savannah, Charleston, and New York, MSC said in a statement Monday. The carrier said the launch date, port rotation, and transit time details would be released later.

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. 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.

Previously, MSC launched a new container shipping service, called Sentosa, to meet increasing demand for cargo between southeast Asia and the US west coast. 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 and returning to Singapore.

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Jennifer Tran

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