Towards the third week of this month, the ports of Hazira and Mundra on the country’s west coast will be linked for the first time. GEM 1, a new service launched last month by United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) with eight vessels of 3800-4250 TEUs each, will call at both ports, according to shipping industry sources.

At Hazira, the vessels will be handled at the port’s newly-built Adani Hazira Container Terminal, the sources said.

China’s CSCL (China Shipping Container Lines) too has teamed up with UASC for the service and has placed with it one vessel, Xin Yang Shan (4250 teus). The seven other vessels are being provided by UASC. The service will connect India, Pakistan, West Asia Gulf, Red Sea, Port Said and Turkey. The port rotation will be: Port Said-Mersin-Istanbul-Izmir-Port Said-Yanbu-Jeddah-Khor Fakkan-Sohar-Port Sultan Kaboos-Karachi-Hazira-Mundra-Khor Fakkan-Jebel Ali-Bahrain-Jubail-Khor Fakkan-Jeddah-Yanbu-Port Said.

In addition to direct port calls, the service will also provide extensive coverage of several East Mediterranean and North African ports through relay services over Port Said and a number of Black Sea ports through relay services over Istanbul.

The GEM service, it is learnt, will also include sections of UASC’s UAE-Pakistan-India service as well as the carrier’s West Asia service.

(This article was published on December 3, 2012)
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