APL Launches 53-foot Containers into the Market

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The first 53-foot ocean-capable containers from shipping leader APL have rolled off the assembly line and were loaded onto the vessel APL Philippines for their initial voyage across the Pacific. Major retailers have snapped up the containers to take advantage of “big-box economics” on the Transpacific Trade from Asia to the U.S. “We took the first order of 53-foot containers from our manufacturer in China and immediately put them to work,” said Bob Sappio, Senior Vice President of the Transpacific Trade at APL. “There’s a long list of shippers waiting for these boxes because they understand the potential for cost reduction and improved transit times.” APL last month introduced the world’s first 53-foot containers designed specifically for deep sea containership transport. The carrier recently announced a name for the new product – Ocean53. The first cargo-laden boxes were loaded at the Port of Chiwan. They’re scheduled to arrive late next week at APL’s Global Gateway South marine terminal in the Port of Los Angeles. The new 53-foot containers are being viewed as a global trade breakthrough because they are longer and wider than containers currently employed in ocean trade lanes. They’re also built to withstand the rigors of deep-sea ocean containership transport, unlike 53-foot boxes already in use for U.S. domestic-oriented truck, rail and barge transport. Ocean53 will enable shippers to load more cargo onto containerships in Asia with fewer containers, said Ron Widdows, CEO of APL. He pointed out that fewer containers will mean reducedcontainer expense; reduced container handling resulting in less congestion at ports and on railways and highways; and improved transit times as shippers eliminate the need to transfer cargo from smaller ocean containers into 53-foot boxes at U.S. distribution centers.

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