Vietnam-United States Container Service to Start June 4

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May 19 – Singaporean shipper APL will begin weekly direct container shipping service between Vietnam and the western coast of North America on June 4.

“This is the beginning of a new era for trade with Vietnam and marks its increased importance as a manufacturing and export center,” Eng Aik Meng, President of APL, told Thanh Nien News.

Currently, Vietnamese exporters send their goods via small feeder vessels that link to larger ships that then travel to major overseas markets. When the APL service begins, transit time between Vietnam and the U.S. West Coast will be an estimated 15 days.

According to APL research, Vietnam’s transition to a market economy and the fulfillment of its potential as a trading nation will be accelerated as it improves its transportation infrastructure and logistics systems.

The APL Denver, a 4,250-TEU vessel, will visit the Saigon Port-PSA facility during the first week of June. The port is the country’s first operational deepwater container terminal serving Ho Chi Minh City.

Despite the global crisis, APL is bullish on Vietnam’s export growth for the year and it projects that majority of that trade expansion will with North America, which is Vietnam’s largest export market, the company said.

APL is a company under the Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), a global shipping, logistics and marine terminals company. It was the first Singaporean transportation and logistics firm to set up a WOFE in Vietnam in 2007.