Shipping industry pioneer APL heralds a new era of trade for Vietnam with launch of direct service to the West Coast of North America

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 14 May 2009: Global shipping leader APL today announced the launch of a new weekly direct container shipping service linking Vietnam and the West Coast of North America.

Previously, Vietnam’s exporters have had to rely on small feeder vessels to connect with larger ships to gain access to the world’s major consuming markets. The first departure of the APL-operated service on 4 June will directly link Vietnam’s exporters to the Transpacific routes, which are among the world’s largest and most dynamic trade lanes.

“This is the beginning of a new era for trade with Vietnam and marks its increased importance as a manufacturing and export centre,” said Mr Eng Aik Meng, President of APL. “It also shows that, even during these challenging times, APL is committed to expanding service innovations where long-term customer demand will be greatest.”

In early 2007, APL co-authored research examining Vietnam’s transportation and logistics environment. The report (“Vietnam Transportation and Logistics: Challenges and Opportunities”) concluded that Vietnam’s transition to a market economy and the fulfillment of its potential as a trading nation will be accelerated as it fast tracks the development of world-class transportation infrastructure and logistics systems.

“The launch of the service is recognition that Vietnam has not only established a strong market presence among the world’s leading shippers and manufacturers, but it is delivering on its commitment to modernise transportation infrastructure such as state-of-the-art port facilities capable of handling large deepwater containerships. We’re proud to be part of Vietnam’s transformation,” said Mr Eng.

The 4,250 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) vessel, APL Denver, which is deployed on APL’s Pacific South 1 (PS1) service, is scheduled to make one of the first calls at the Saigon Port-PSA (SP-PSA) facility in the first week of June. SP-PSA is Vietnam’s first operational deepwater container terminal serving Ho Chi Minh City.

For shippers - many of which source footwear and apparel in Vietnam - the direct Transpacific service offers a first opportunity to use a range of APL innovations, including:

    * APL Guaranteed™ Direct - the industry’s first day-definite, money-back-guaranteed ocean service for full containerloads.
    * APL LinerTrain™ - dedicated APL cargo trains which are scheduled to meet APL vessels, departing from on-dock rail facilities operated by APL in Seattle and Los Angeles to major US inland markets.
    * Transit from Vietnam to the US West Coast in as little as 15 days.

Vietnam is one of the few countries in Asia projecting solid export growth in 2009. The majority of that trade expansion will be with North America, which is Vietnam’s largest export market.

APL and its parent company, Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), have had a long association with Vietnam. APL-NOL became the first Singapore-based transportation and logistics company to establish wholly owned operations in Vietnam on 1 January 2007. NOL is also the major investor in the Vietnam International Container Terminal (VICT), which became the country’s first purpose-built container handling facility when it commenced operations in 1998.

For more information on APL's services go to:

For more information on Vietnam Transportation and Logistics: Challenges and Opportunities go to:

Media Enquiries:

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Mr Paul Barrett
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About APL
APL is a global container shipping business offering more than 60 weekly services and nearly 300 calls at more than 90 ports in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. It combines world-class intermodal operations with leading-edge IT and e-commerce. APL is a unit of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), global shipping, logistics and marine terminals company. APL Web site:

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