Rickmers-Linie, breakbulk, heavylift and project cargo specialist headquartered in Hamburg, has launched a new service linking North Asia with South America and the US East Coast. Four vessels, each capable of lifting 120-tonne indivisible loads and featuring stern ramps for rolling cargo, will maintain the monthly schedule.
Base ports covered by the Rickmers NCS Service are:
• Moji, Kobe, Yokohama and Nagoya in Japan;
• Guayaquil in Ecuador, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Puerto Bolivar in Colombia and Guanta in Venezuela;
• Port-au-Prince in Haiti;
• Savannah, Charleston and Philadelphia on the US East Coast.
Additional ports can be called on inducement. In Asia, for example, the schedule permits calls in Northern China (Shanghai – Dalian range) and in South Korea. Rickmers sees this new service as complementing its existing Pearl String vessels which sail eastbound and primarily link Japan, China and Korea with the US Gulf on the transpacific leg of their fortnightly round-the world schedule.
The NCS service will utilize four ships, three of 11,500dwt and one of 13,000dwt. Being smaller than the 30,000dwt Pearl String ships, they have the added advantage of being able to call at smaller, draught-restricted ports. The four ships, Bright State, Del Sol, Fortune Epoch and Reina Rosa, are Japanese-owned and have been chartered from Eastern Car Liner, Ltd (ECL), Tokyo.
Since 2006, Rickmers-Linie has deployed these vessels westbound from the U.S. to Asia. However, since October 2009, Rickmers-Linie has also utilized them eastbound from Asia to the U.S. Gulf & East Coast, with the prime focus being on serving the needs of Japanese clients. Now Rickmers is adding regular calls in Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, so creating a distinct new service that continues to serve the requirements of the markets in Japan, Northern China and South Korea.