Mariana Express Lines Ltd.
(MELL), a regional ocean container carrier offering service between islands in the Pacific Ocean and Asia and Australia, said Thursday it will launch a U.S. West Coast service to select Micronesia locations starting Dec. 15.
The carrier’s new Micronesia Express service will offer weekly departures from Los Angeles, Oakland and Tacoma to the Pacific islands of Majuro, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, Palau and Saipan.
Horizon Lines will serve as the dedicated shipping agent for the container service, providing U.S. sales, vessel connections and logistics support.
MELL's containers will be carried by Horizon Lines vessels between U.S. West Coast ports and Honolulu, where they will be transferred onto MELL vessels for onward carriage to the Pacific islands. MELL ships will call Hawaii directly for the first time with the Micronesia Express service.
“There is ongoing demand from U.S. shippers for service to these Pacific islands and by partnering with Horizon Lines we can fill the niche to meet this demand with reliable deliveries and a regular schedule,” said Tong Hui Aw, president of MELL.
MELL’s Micronesia Express service will offer Los Angeles-to-Majuro transit times of 14 days, as an example. MELL said shippers with time-sensitive commodities, including groceries and retail goods, will enjoy excellent transit times.
“Mariana Express Lines has a solid reputation in the Asia Pacific region, which we will support as we raise visibility of the carrier’s service in the U.S. marketplace,” said Ali Nikkhoo, vice president and general manager of Hawaii at Horizon Lines.
MELL, founded in 1997, is based in Singapore. The company started with two vessels, and now operates a fleet of 14 ships, according to its Website.
Using Hong Kong and Kaoshiung as hubs, MELL currently carries containers between the United States, China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and the Pacific islands. - Chris Dupin