Horizon Lines (NYSE:HRZ) announced it has instituted a 15-day transit schedule for containerized cargo shipped from Shanghai to Kansas City with its new International service. The company launched the Five-Star Express (FSX) trans-Pacific ocean service between China and the United States in December, and selected Kansas City as a key hub for its express ocean-rail intermodal package.
"Our goal is to offer the fastest weekly deliveries by using scheduled intermodal rail service from Los Angeles," said Brian Taylor, Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, for Horizon Lines. "We believe the 15-day Shanghai-to-Kansas City schedule is the best in our industry. It is proving to be on-target and completely effective."
The ocean carrier commenced the FSX service with a sailing from Ningbo, China, on December 14 and Shanghai on December 15. The cargo arrived in Kansas City on December 30, and was available for pick-up at 4:32 a.m. that day. Horizon Lines is the nation's leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, operating weekly vessel service between the mainland U.S. and its domestic offshore markets in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
"Having the Five-Star Express trans-Pacific ocean service bringing imports into the greater KC market in 15 days is an incredible advantage for companies in our region," said Chris J. F. Gutierrez, President of Kansas City SmartPort, Inc. "This will allow our companies to meet delivery times more efficiently." A non-profit economic development organization, Kansas City SmartPort promotes and enhances the Kansas City region's status as a leading North American logistics hub.
"Other carriers have reduced inland service locations and slowed service speeds but our customers are telling us they want fast and reliable service alternatives, not only port-to-port, but inland to final destinations as well," Mr. Taylor said. "U.S. retailers are maintaining low inventory levels and our Five-Star Express service provides a fast and reliable transit schedule to deliver goods to their shelves in a timely manner."
Horizon Lines is able to offer a cost-effective inland service because of operational synergies with the carrier's domestic U.S. shipping network. Long-established intermodal hubs like Kansas City are expediting container freight to the west coast in the carrier's existing Hawaii and Guam services. These lanes are now open to move export cargo to Ningbo and Shanghai. Horizon Lines maintains strong relationships and direct electronic data interchange integration with the nation's railroad operators; facilitating the delivery of quality service.