New service expands Long Beach's connections to China
April 26, 2011
Grand China Shipping, one of the fastest growing ocean carriers in China, made its inaugural call to the Port of Long Beach on Tuesday at Total Terminals International's Pier T shipping facility.
The maiden call of the vessel Red Strength kicked off a weekly service that is expected to import about 140,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) by the end of 2011. Last year, the Port moved more than 6 million TEUs.
"It is a vote of confidence that global trade is rebounding, and that the Port of Long Beach is the preferred route to reach U.S. markets," Board of Harbor Commissioners Vice President Susan E. Anderson Wise told those gathered for a luncheon on Pier T to celebrate the event.
The Red Strength is one of five 2,700-TEU ships in Grand China Shipping's Super Pacific Express (SPX) service that will be calling weekly to the Port. SPX's route includes the Chinese ports of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Ningbo and Shanghai, and then to Long Beach.
Jia Hongxiang, chairman of Grand China Logistics Holding Group which owns Grand China Shipping, said the new service marks the company's first foray into transpacific trade and is part of an aggressive strategy to reach U.S. markets.
"We believe in fate," Mr. Jia said via a translator. "And we are going to have a very bright future together."
Grand China Logistics Holding is part of China's fourth-largest airline group, HNA Group. Currently, Grand China Shipping operates a fleet of 23 container ships with a total capacity of 37,000 TEUs and is ranked 33rd among the world's biggest container carriers, the company said.
Named the best seaport in North America by CargoNews Asia 13 of the last 14 years, the Port of Long Beach is the premier gateway for transpacific trade. With more than $4 billion in planned upgrades over the next decade, the Port will continue to offer some of the most modern and sustainable port facilities in the world.