Russian container market update: FESCO launches new service, COSCO and ZIM drop routes
Russian liner operator Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) has launched a service connecting the Russian Far East with China and Vietnam, after the Israeli container line ZIM pulled out of the route.
The FESCO service, called FESCO Vietnam Direct Line, is served by two ships, an owned vessel, the 1,060 TEU FESCO Trader and the 1,078 TEU A Houou, which is chartered from Starocean Marine.
The service connects the port of Vladivostok with Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City and Ningbo.
FESCO Trader was assigned to the line after completing its deployment on FESCO’s Korea-Russia Express 1 service.
FESCO Vietnam Direct Line is the only liner service connecting Vietnam, China and Russia after ZIM suspended its Russia Star service in March following the breakout of the Russia-Ukraine war. Several liner operators have suspended services to Russia in view of sanctions and reputational risk concerns.
Alphaliner’s report today disclosed that COSCO Shipping Lines has followed its peers in limiting calls to Russia. The Chinese liner operator will close its North Europe – Russia RFS service, which called at Zeebrugge, Hamburg, St Petersburg and Zeebrugge, using two 1,924 TEU 1A ice-class ships chartered from Delphis. The last calls at St Petersburg are planned from 31 May to 3 June with the Delphis Gdansk, after which the ship will be reassigned to a new North Germany – Finland service.