United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), the container shipping line and global carrier, has announced the appointment of the Ultramar Group as its local liner shipping agency partner in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
This is the latest step in UASC’s expansion in South America and, according to the company, will be instrumental in UASC’s growth plans.
"Ultramar has a long-standing, successful history in South America providing agency, ports and logistics services in 16 countries and covering all the main ports," the company revealed in a statement. "UASC’s decision to select Ultramar as its local agency partner in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay marks a significant expansion in the relationship between the two companies."
The news follows UASC's announcement in November of its long-term cooperation deal with Hamburg Süd, providing UASC’s customers with wide access to the East Coast of South America.
UASC’s services from northern Europe to the South American East Coast and from the Mediterranean to the South American East Coast are set to commence in mid-April. The first sailing from Asia to the South American East Coast is scheduled for the start of July.
Jørn Hinge, UASC's president and CEO, said he was "delighted" with the deal. "Ultramar has an outstanding track record in South America and we are confident that it can support our near and medium-term goals for this marketplace," he said.
“The East Coast South American markets of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay provide significant opportunity for UASC and its customers," he added. "As an emerging global carrier that places customer service at the very heart of our operations, we are continuously exploring enhanced geographical reach and improved products, whilst always safeguarding reliability and service excellence. This development marks the next stage of our evolution in South America and gives a flavor of our longer term aspirations.”
This announcement follows news of UASC’s growing reefer fleet, which was recently boosted with an order for an additional 2,000 reefer units from Daikin. With an average age of just three years, UASC’s reefer fleet is one of the youngest in the industry and this latest order will directly support enhanced access to the South America trades for chilled and frozen cargoes.
UASC’s growing presence in South America forms a key element of the company’s ambitious expansion strategy. The company’s strategic alliances with The Hamburg Süd Group and also CMA CGM and China Shipping Container Lines (OCEAN3) come into play this year.
In addition, by the end of 2015, UASC’s fleet will be boosted by the delivery of eleven of the world’s largest and most eco-efficient vessels, thanks to its current building programme, which comprises eleven 15,000 TEU vessels and six 18,800 TEU vessels.