Carrier Completes Live Test Run of New Five Star Express (FSX) Service; Initial Voyage in December Already More Than 45% Committed
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct 25, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Horizon Lines, Inc. (NYSE: HRZ), the nation's leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, announced it will add approximately 12,500 new containers to its international and domestic shipping network to support existing customers and the carrier's new Asia liner service launching in December.
"We continue to make great progress with our new China service," said Brian Taylor, Senior Vice President of International Services at Horizon Lines. "Market receptivity to our new service remains very strong and as of today, we are now over 45% subscribed on the first sailing."
Beginning on December 13, 2010, Horizon Lines will launch a weekly liner service, named the Five Star Express, with port calls at Shanghai and Ningbo in Central China; and Los Angeles and Oakland in California. Using five 2,824 TEU capacity Hunter Class vessels, Horizon Lines will offer some of the fastest transit times in the transpacific trade, including 11-day port-to-port transit from Shanghai to Los Angeles, with Monday morning cargo availability every week at the nation's busiest import gateway.
Horizon Lines completed its first live test of the service last month with the Eastbound voyage of the Horizon Enterprise, as it stopped in Shanghai on its return from a dry-dock in Asia. Customer support was very strong and all operations were handled by Horizon Lines' new Owner's Representative and General Agent in China with great success. In August, Horizon Lines announced Mr. Hon Wing Lam as its Owner's Representative and Ben Line Agencies as its General Agent to support the company's ongoing sales and operations in Shanghai and Ningbo.
Horizon Lines' Asia Service Background
Five of Horizon Lines' vessels currently call ports in China under its space charter agreement with Maersk Line. Once that agreement expires on December 10, 2010, Horizon Lines will begin transporting general cargo from Ningbo and Shanghai on behalf of direct commercial customers. Sales and marketing efforts for the service have been formally underway since March.
In addition to offering customers a transpacific import alternative, the new Five Star Express service will allow Horizon Lines to better accommodate an expanding military presence in Guam, where trade is expected to grow significantly in coming years. The Five Star Express service will connect with Horizon Lines' warehousing and distribution capabilities on the U.S. West Coast to create an integrated import/export solution.
"We continue to believe that we are entering the market at an opportune time," Mr. Taylor said. "U.S. importers are diversifying their ocean shipping contracts to adjust to ongoing capacity fluctuations in the transpacific. We have engaged with our customers to capitalize on these opportunities and are finding success as a niche player recognized for schedule integrity and customer service."
About Horizon Lines
Horizon Lines, Inc., is the nation's leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company. The company owns or leases a fleet of 20 U.S.-flag containerships and operates five port terminals linking the continental United States with Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia and Puerto Rico. The company also manages a domestic and overseas service partner network and provides integrated, reliable and cost competitive logistics solutions. Horizon Lines, Inc., is based in Charlotte, NC, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HRZ.