by TMR / pic courtesy of NORTHPORT
NORTHPORT (M) Bhd, a member of the MMC Group, welcomed Wan Hai Lines (M) Sdn Bhd’s independent new service connecting Asia and the east coast of North America.
The new service, which was launched in June 2021, known as AA7 Service, made its maiden voyage through Malaysian waters to Northport yesterday.
“Northport is delighted to be one of the ports of call for Wan Hai Lines’ AA7 service that connects Asia and the US east coast. For Northport, this service is very important as it is the first service that connects our port with ports in the US since April 2017,” said Northport CEO Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof in a statement yesterday.
“We believe that the direct service from Port Klang to the US east coast will further enhance the capacity and competency of Malaysian ports, especially in connecting our local exporters and importers with the US markets, within competitive transit time,” he added.
According to Wan Hai Lines, the call at Northport terminal is an expansion of its AA7 service to strengthen the network between Asia and the US east coast, in anticipation of a continuous and strong demand in both markets.
The AA7 service is operated by eleven container vessels with a capacity of 2,800 to 4,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs). The rotation of AA7 service includes the ports of Ningbo (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Xiamen (China), Shekou (China), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Port Klang – Northport (Malaysia), New York (US east coast), Savannah (US east coast) and Ningbo (China).
Wan Hai Lines’ business relationship with Northport goes back more than three decades ago with the commencement of its Singapore/Malaysia service at Northport, in June 1989, with only 7,500 TEUs handled that year.
It has grown significantly ever since and in 2015, the Taiwan-based shipping line became the first shipping line in Northport to successfully hit one million TEUs in a single year.
Wan Hai Lines, which offers the most comprehensive service network in the Far East with more than 85 services, is Northport’s biggest customer in terms of container throughput. Currently, it is the 10th largest container shipping line in the world with a fleet of 149 vessels.
The US is currently Malaysia’s third largest trading partner.
“We believe that this new service will open up more opportunities for our local shippers to expand their market into the world’s largest economies. Demand for warehouse space for regional distribution to fulfil the needs of US-based companies is also expected to increase,” Azman said further.