3 global shipping lines join hands for Chennai-Taiwan box service

T. E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on April 29, 2011 Published on April 28, 2011

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Three global shipping lines – Wan Hai Lines, Evergreen Line and Interasia Lines – will jointly launch a container shipping service connecting Taiwan with Chennai to give a fillip to the increased trade between Taiwan and southern India, especially in and around Chennai.

The weekly service, called TMT (Taiwan-Madras-Taiwan), will consist of four 1,300 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) vessels with two operated by the Taiwan-based Wan Hai and one by Evergreen and Interasia each.

The maiden voyage by the container vessel, Karin Schulte, operated by Interasia, started on Friday from Taichung.

28-day rotation

The service will run on a 28-day basis with rotation calling at Taichung, Keelung, Hong Kong, Hong Kong (mid-stream), Nansha, Shekou, Port Klang and Chennai.

In the return direction from Chennai, the service will call at Penang, Port Klang, Singapore, Yantian, Hong Kong and Taichung.

According to Mr Kent Lew of Wan Hai Lines (India), the sales and marketing owner's representative in Chennai, the weekly service will call at the DP World Chennai private container terminal.

India is the next major market of focus for Taiwanese companies in the electronic, machinery and auto component sectors.

Volume size

The inbound volume with cargo such as machinery spares and electronic components from Taiwan to Chennai is around 750 TEUs a month while the outbound cargo, including empty boxes and agricultural products, is around 200 TEUs.

The volume will be less between Chennai and Taiwan.

However, the volume will mostly come from China where the Taiwanese companies have operations and would like to ship their consignment to Chennai.

“We are connecting Chennai with major hubs in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia through the service,” he said.

While it will be difficult to give a value on the cost saving, a company could save nearly a week by using the direct services, he said.

Bilateral trade

The bilateral trade between Taiwan and India was around $6,700 million. This was not even half of Taiwan's trade with Malaysia or Indonesia. There are nearly 20 large Taiwanese companies, including Foxconn having presence in the south, said Mr George Lin, Director, Taipei World Trade Centre Liaison Office in Chennai.

“There have been visits by officials of large Taiwanese companies and I expect some of them to set up their operations here,” he said.

The upcoming Taiwan Formosa Industrial Park in the SEZ at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh will give a major boost in trade between the two countries.

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Published on April 28, 2011
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