NYK Line responds to new APL Asia-Hawaii service
by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, July 6, 2017
The Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha known as NYK Line announced on June 16, 2017, that they would increase the frequency of their Asia Hawaii Express (AHX) service from fortnightly (every two weeks) to weekly beginning in late July 2017.
This move by NYK Line is directly in response to APL Ltd.’s deployment of a new fortnightly Asia-Hawaii service dubbed the Aloha Express (AEX) service, which APL formally announced on Friday, July 7, 2017.
To increase their service frequency from fortnightly to weekly, NYK added two additional small containerships to their existing string of three ships for a total of five. According to the NYK description, the total turnaround time for the ships employed in their AHX service is 35 days (i.e., to complete a full round voyage). Employing five ships on a 35 day turnaround time routing produces a weekly frequency.
The first arrival of NYK’s revised schedule reflecting weekly frequency will be the MARE FRIO arriving to Honolulu Harbor on Thursday, August 3, 2017, having departed Shanghai, China, on July 15, 2017.
The Journal of Commerce (JoC) in a news article published on July 5, 2017, “Competition heating up on Asia-Hawaii trade,” wrote:
Fierce competition is coming to the Asia-Hawaii segment of the trans-Pacific trade with Japanese carrier NYK announcing it will increase the frequency of its Asia-Hawaii services just days after APL unveiled the launch of a new direct Honolulu service from North Asia.
NYK will increase the sailings of its Asia Hawaii Express (AHX) service from fortnightly to weekly from July 15, Alphaliner said. The AHX rotation is Shanghai, Busan, Yokohama, Honolulu, Yokohama, Shanghai and while it currently turns in six weeks, this will be cut to five weeks in July. Two 700 to 750 TEU ships will be added to the current three chartered ships of 1,200 to 1,400 TEU.
The short NYK news release stated:
We are pleased to announce that the dedicated Asia–Hawaii Express will be upgraded from a fortnightly service to a weekly sailing starting in July 2017. This enhancement will provide our valued clients with additional flexibility to efficiently manage the needs of their supply chain.
Asia–Hawaii Express (AHX) – Weekly Service
Turnaround: 35 days / Deployed vessels: 700–1,000 TEU vessel x 5
Rotation: Shanghai (WGQ) – Busan – Yokohama – Honolulu – Yokohama – Shanghai (WGQ) * No change from current rotation
Initial weekly sailing: Late July 2017