MCC Transport, a sister firm of the world’s largest container shipping company Maersk Line, has launched a new direct service between China and Myanmar.
The new service, Intra Asia 5 (IA5), will provide a direct trade link between the two countries as China is Myanmar’s biggest trading partner, accounting for an estimated 45 percent of all imports from Asia to Myanmar, the Danish shipping company said.
“Growth in imports and increased investments in the last few years have facilitated further trade between Myanmar and other Asian economies,” said MCC Transport’s CEO Tim Wickmann.
Maersk Line and MCC Transport said the firms see more opportunities in working with customers, suppliers and the local authorities to tap Myanmar’s transport industry and supply chain.
“Myanmar has a huge potential for growth in terms of international trade,” said Bo Wegener, Maersk Line Thailand Managing Director (overseeing Thailand, Myanmar and Laos).
“We expect trade volumes in Myanmar to grow significantly. Although current trade is mainly to other Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Thailand, we see unveiled potential for Myanmar’s garment exports to other markets such as the United States and Europe.”
The new IA5 service will considerably reduce the transit time from ports in China to Yangon. Imports from Shanghai to Yangon previously took 18 days but the IA5 will cut transit time to 13 days, providing a direct service which eliminates any need for transshipment of the cargo in Southeast Asia.
The new service runs on a 56-day rotation covering ports including Shanghai (China), Singapore, Port Klang (Malaysia), Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Busan (South Korea) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
MCC Transport will deploy eight 1,100 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit – a measurement to describe container ship capacity) vessels on this service.
Maersk Line and MCC Transport opened their agency office in Yangon in May last year and are among the few carriers that operate from their own office in Myanmar.
Within the last two years, the firms have bolstered their presence in Myanmar through investments in service expansion into the Port of Yangon. They previously purchased space from other shipping lines but now operate their own dedicated two weekly and one biweekly services.