NEW ORLEANS — THE Alliance has announced a new direct-Asia container service that will call the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA), the East Coast Loop 6 (EC6) service via the Panama Canal. Members of THE Alliance Ocean Network Express (ONE), Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Yang Ming Line stated they are launching the EC6, calling it “the first service within THE Alliance network to directly and seamlessly connect the U.S. Gulf with important ports in Asia.” This new service will launch in April 2021.
Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian said the new service expands New Orleans’ direct connectivity with key ports in Asia and offers additional options.
“We are pleased to welcome THE Alliance’s new service to the Port of New Orleans,” said Christian. “This new direct-Asia service highlights the industry’s continued investment in the New Orleans market. We look forward to continuing to work with long-standing partner Hapag Lloyd as well as newer to Port NOLA carriers, ONE, HMM and Yang Ming to make this service a success for our shipper and carrier partners.”
The direct ports of call will be Kaohsiung – Hong Kong – Yantian – Ningbo – Shanghai – Pusan – (Panama) – Houston - Mobile – New Orleans – (Panama) – Kaohsiung, which will offer the best transit times for exporters out of New Orleans. The new service will be handled by terminal operator Ports America at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.
The additional capacity will support Port NOLA’s growing export business for commodities such as resin, poultry, forestry and agricultural products. While known for its robust export growth, the Port saw 13% loaded import TEU growth last year. This service will also further support Port NOLA’s import growth from overseas markets and new distribution center announcements in Louisiana including Medline and Amazon, which together collectively total nearly 2 million square feet of distribution center space.
Port NOLA is currently in the process of a $100 million expansion project at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal that will add four new 100-foot-gauge container gantry cranes in the fourth quarter of 2021. This expansion will increase capacity to 1 million TEUs and allows the Port to work larger ships more efficiently. Port NOLA also launched the due diligence process for a potential $1.5 billion multimodal container terminal with a 2 million TEU capacity to serve the largest container vessels calling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The addition of THE Alliance service continues to promote this trajectory and expands upon Port NOLA’s direct weekly container service count that now increases to 14. This new direct-Asia container service adds to Port NOLA’s two existing direct-Asia services including the MSC’s Lone Star Express service, with Maersk and ZIM as partners and CMA CGM’s PEX 3 service with COSCO, Evergreen and OOCL as partners.