A new service featuring 18 mega-ships is being launched this week between the Port of Oakland and Asia, including the first-ever direct link between the port and the Middle East.
The service, called the Far East-Pacific 2, would be operated by Japan’s ONE line. The first ship in the service, the ONE Aquila, is scheduled to arrive at Oakland International Container Terminal on May 7.
The service consolidates two other services that had been calling at Oakland, hence the port could not project what would be the impact of the cargo volume on the new service.
Each of the ships in the service has the capacity to carry 14,000 20-foot containers, making these the largest container vessels calling at U.S. ports.
“Naturally we’re encouraged by this development,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The size of the ships means extra cargo capacity coming to Oakland and the port rotation extends Oakland’s reach in global markets.”
The port said that larger ships could result in more Oakland freight over time, adding new port calls such as Jeddah could help as well.
Stops at Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port would be Oakland’s first direct connection to the Middle East. Until now, ships from the Arab world transferred Oakland-bound cargo to other vessels at intermediate ports.
The cargo mix on the new service is expected to be evenly divided between imports and exports, with prominent part assigned to California farm goods exported to overseas markets.
The Far East-Pacific 2 eastbound port rotation includes Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Laem Chabang, Thailand; Cai Mep, Vietnam; Hong Kong; Yantian, China; Long Beach; Oakland
The Far East-Pacific 2 westbound port rotation: Oakland; Yokohama, Japan; Hong Kong; Laem Chabang, Thailand; Cai Mep, Vietnam; Singapore; before heading to Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp and Southampton on the European portion of its rotation.