Less than a year after U-Ocean, the oceanfreight arm of global freight forwarder the U-Freight Group (ufl) launched scheduled oceanfreight export consolidation services from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to Hong Kong, the global operator is undertaking a major expansion of the services that will boost its coverage of key markets throughout South East Asia.
Early in 2008, weekly oceanfreight operations were established to serve markets in South East Asia via transhipment through the Hong Kong gateway, while a Los Angeles to Shanghai service was added in June 2008.
Later this year, U-Ocean also plans to launch separate oceanfreight consolidation services connecting San Francisco with Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Terence Tsang, a senior vice president of U-Freight America with specific responsibilities for U-Ocean’s operations in North America said “The consol services we launched last year have been a complete success for U-Ocean and we are completely confident that they will make further progress this year. We anticipate the pattern of world trade will undergo significant developments this year that will generate stronger west-bound traffic to China. This makes us very positive about the prospects for our Shanghai consol services throughout 2009.
“However, we do not intend to rest on our laurels and once this last planned expansion of our Shanghai service is established, we are going to look at more Chinese destinations for the consolidation services. Our clients look to reach all parts of China and expect us to develop imaginative and intelligent routings to reach their customers in the shortest possible lead times.”
The dramatic decline of the dollar against a basket of major world currencies which started in 2007 is continuing to make overseas prices for US exports attractive and U-Ocean considers this is a great time to launch new services to capitalize on export growth and help US shippers to connect directly with important markets throughout South East Asia.
Simon Wong, UFL’s Chief Executive Officer added “It is only a year since U-Ocean first commenced scheduled oceanfreight export consolidation services from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to Hong Kong and the reaction of the marketplace was immediate and positive. The service is being expanded at the same time as it is celebrating its first birthday.
“When the Shanghai services are completely established and available in the U-Ocean schedules, we will be looking at further ways to improve access to this key market for US exporters.”