Singapore-based global container shipping line APL is expanding its Asian network with a raft of new services to meet growing customer demand.

The group today (8 November) revealed it is launching a new Japan Taiwan 6 (JT6) Service and an upgraded Japan Thailand 2 (JT2) Service, as well as a new Red Sea route.

The new JT6 Service links the markets of Japan, Taiwan, South China with the Philippines, APL explained. The upgraded JT2 Service is enhanced with seven additional ports of call in the key hubs of Japan, Taiwan, South China and Thailand.

“APL is committed to keep levelling up our shipping services and market connectivity so that our customers can better access existing and new markets with ease, reliability and speed. It is noteworthy that the two weekly short sea services will call the major transshipment hubs of Hong Kong and Kaohsiung, enabling our Asian shippers to plug into APL’s wider network for global connectivity,” said Tonnie Lim, APL head of intra-Asia trade.

Redesigned with market access to Bangkok, the upgraded JT2 Service complements its current port call in Laem Chabang to provide shippers a wider network coverage in Thailand. Through additional calls to Keelung and Taichung, shippers will also benefit from a new Japan to Taiwan route in its enhanced service.

The upgraded JT2 Service will call the ports of Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama, Tokyo, Keelung, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shekou, Laem Chabang and Bangkok. The service will commence its first sailing from Bangkok on 2 December 2016.

The new JT6 Service will offer a market coverage of North and South Manila in the Philippines to the Kanto and Kansai regions of Japan.

To facilitate fast intra-Asia cargo movements, this new service promises competitive transit times from Japan to South China and South China to Manila. In addition, the JT6 service provides a weekend shipment booking cutoff time for the Kobe export market. This complements the APL Japan Thailand Vietnam (JTV) Service that has a mid-week cutoff time, providing an alternative choice for customers to tap on the Kobe market.

The new JT6 Service will call the ports of Kaohsiung, Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo, Yokohama, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Nansha, Shekou, North and South Manila. Its first sailing from Kaohsiung will commence on 2 December 2016.

Meanwhile, APL's new Red Sea Express 2 (RE2) Service directly links China to the Red Sea ports of Jeddah, Sokhna and Aqaba. The new RE2 Service expands APL’s Asia-Middle East service network to meet its customers’ growing shipping needs, APL said.

Designed to enable fast connections between Asia and the Middle East, the RE2 Service offers competitive transit times to Jeddah, Sokhna and Aqaba. Serving the Shanghai and Ningbo export market with additional shipment booking cutoff times, the RE2 Service complements the APL Red Sea Express (REX) Service and provides an alternative choice for customers to tap on the China market.

The new RE2 Service will call the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Shekou, Port Klang, Jeddah, Sokhna, Aqaba, Djibouti and Singapore. The service will commence its first sailing from Shanghai on 14 November 2016.