Maersk Line Opens Direct Cargo Route from Vietnam to the United States

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May 18 – Denmark-based container transporter Maersk Line made history last Tuesday when its Mathilde Maersk became the largest ship to dock in the Southeast Asian nation when it launched its first direct cargo route from Vietnam to the United States.

The Mathilde Maersk is 367 meters long with a capacity of 9,000 TEUs. The new direct route will link SP-PSA International Port in Vung Tau, located 80 kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City, to Los Angeles, California. The weekly TP6 service will have a shorter transit time of 18 days providing Vietnamese exporters a reliable option to transport goods to one of its top trade partners.

The United States was Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in 2009. The largest foreign direct investment during the same period also came from American businesses that committed US$9.8 billion worth of investments.

During the first quarter of this year, the United States was Vietnam’s largest consumer at US$2.8 billion, an increase of 23.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

“This is a fantastic day for us. We have worked intensively for more than a year to meet our customers’ demand for a direct call to the U.S. West Coast. The challenge has been to ensure safety and security when entering the Cai Mep-Thi Vai River, considering the size of the vessel and draft limitations. But through close co-operation with the Vietnamese authorities, we are thrilled to see our customers’ wishes come true today,” Peter Smidt-Nielsen, General Director of Maersk Line in Vietnam said during the launch of the new direct route.

The route’s eastbound stops include Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia; Vung Tau, Vietnam; Yantian, China; Hong Kong, China and Los Angeles while its westbound rotation will be Los Angeles; Yokohama, Japan; Nagoya, Japan; Shanghai, China; Ningbo, China; Xiamen, China; Hong Kong, China; Yantian, China, and Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia.

Maersk Line currently manages the biggest fleet in the country and is the world’s largest shipping line with a fleet of 500 container vessels.