South Korean feeder operators Korea Marine Transport Company (KMTC Line), Namsung Shipping and CK Line with Thai Regional Container Lines (RCL) and Singapore’s regional carrier Mariana Express Lines (MEL) are launching services connecting southern China with Thailand.

The new services coincide with the peak durian season in Thailand, resulting in freight rates hitting US$2,500 for shipping 40ft reefers.

The South Korean operators are offering a joint New Korea-Thailand (NKT) service, with each carrier contributing one 1,800TEU ship–KMTC Pusan, Starship Aquila from Namsung and Sky Sunshine from CK Line. Starship Aquila launched the service on 26 May.

The rotation will be Incheon, Gwangyang, Busan, Hong Kong, Shekou, Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Ho Chi Minh and Incheon.

With the NKT service, KMTC Line and Namsung, which already have other services connecting Incheon to Thailand, will raise their service frequency on the route to four times a week and twice a week, respectively.

On 5 June, RCL will launch a new RBS service, connecting Nansha, Shekou, Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Nansha.

Mariana Express, a subsidiary of Pacific International Lines, will deploy two 1,200TEU ships at the start of the service. In July, RCL will allot one of its 1,200TEU ships to replace one of Mariana Express’ vessels.

The RBS service will provide RCL with a second direct link between South China and Thailand, complementing its existing RBH service that covers South China, Thailand and Northern Vietnam. The new loop complements the carrier’s existing network as it calls at Nansha and Shekou on the weekends, while the existing loop calls these two southern Chinese ports over midweek.

Source : Container-News