Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE), established in July last year following the integration of the container shipping operations of ‘K’ Line, MOL and NYK, has introduced its new EC5 service, which features a call at the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The maiden call of the EC5 service was made on April 23rd at the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT), which is owned by a consortium of local and global companies, including APM Terminals, which holds a 33% share.
Opened in 1999, SGAT was Sri Lanka’s first private terminal. It has seen almost continuous year-on-year volume growth ever since and achieved a container throughput of 1.8 million teu in 2017.
ONE’s EC5 service will link Asia to the East Coast of North America, with calls at Laem Chabang, Thailand; Cai Mep, Vietnam; Singapore and Colombo before crossing the Atlantic via the Suez Canal, calling at Halifax, Canada; and New York, Savannah, Jacksonville and Norfolk in the US. It will then be returning eastbound with stops at Halifax, Jebel Ali and Singapore.
The Port of Colombo, with a combined throughput of 6.2 million teu in 2017, has risen to a ranking of 23rd worldwide, and is a major transhipment port for India, Bangladesh and domestic cargoes, as well as for cargoes in transit from Southeast Asian ports to Europe and North America. Transhipment represents 75% of Colombo’s overall container handling traffic and the new main line call underlines the port’s attractiveness as a regional hub.