UK freight forwarder Allseas launches shipping line for bespoke customers

20 Jun 2022

By Eric Huang            Photo:Robert So

Launch of new shipping line to charter a 2000 TEU full container ship named Allseas Pioneer.

Reflecting a trend among logistics companies and manufacturers, British freight forwarder Allseas Global Logistics celebrated the launch of its own shipping company earlier this year, after two years of supply chain disruptions as logistics companies and manufacturers seek to increase control over freight. The company this week announced a $150 million investment in Allseas Shipping Company, which it said was the first UK-registered shipping company in 40 years.


Allseas Shipping Company (ASC), a joint venture between Allseas Global and First Containers, was officially launched at the Multimodal Show in Birmingham. In its founding statement, ASC indicated "Today is a momentous moment in our company's history. After nearly 18 months of success with our groundbreaking China Xpress service, we are now proud to officially announce the launch of our new shipping line - Allseas Shipping Company. Following a successful first year of the China Xpress service, we now have a long-term commitment to launch the first UK-registered shipping company in 40 years. The dedicated line specializes in import and export services from China to UK/Europe, and Bangladesh to UK/Europe import service with non-stop routes that significantly reduce transit time from origin to destination. We will continue to develop the China Xpress service, which now becomes a key offer of the shipping line along with our latest Bangladesh service, Asia Xpress. In addition, we’re already working on new service routes which will include calls in Genoa, Valencia, East India, Vietnam, Cambodia, along with Transpacific routes to the USA & Canada.”


The launch of the new shipping line begins with a long-term charter for a 2000 TEU full container vessel. The company chartered a 19-year-old vessel, formerly known as Valdivia, and renamed it the Allseas Pioneer. She is registered in Liberia and is 619 feet long. The company launched the service in March 2022 as a move to expand into China over the past year. The freight forwarder plans to operate six chartered vessels in the Asia-Europe trade, calling at Ningbo, Chittagong and Liverpool, and it hopes to convert it to a weekly service by chartering two more vessels. Two other vessels provide bi-monthly service in the Pacific region, which ASC also hopes to improve by entering into a space charter agreement with Swire Lines.


Darren Wright, co-founder of Allseas Shipping Company and Group, said: " The Allseas Pioneer is the first in a series of six of our own branded container vessels, with an investment of over $150 million, and that's our commitment we have to the new company and the customers using it to steady their supply chains. We are grateful for the great effort of our team and the trust and loyalty of our customers in helping us make our service a great success.” Allseas, which has a fleet of six similarly sized container ships, says this will allow the company to Take full control of departure and arrival timescales and greatly improve vessel on-time performance, which is critical to your customers.


Mr Wright said the company has a full range of experience, with the freight forwarding business providing freight forwarding services, DKT handling the port operations and First Containers providing the containers as an equipment dealer. Allseas now has more than 20,000 owned containers. "We started this service because we are a freight forwarder; our customers are not able to get their cargo on board and they pay dearly for it". The company has a flat management structure, which means it can make quick decisions, such as deciding to call after a 4-week conversation with Bangladesh, or even launching a Chinese courier service discussion within 5 to 6 weeks of starting.


Allseas joins others including German retailer Lidl, which launched its own shipping line earlier this year. Others include Amazon, FedEx, and even Schneider National, a logistics company based in Wisconsin, USA, that all have chartered ships during the pandemic. A Chinese furniture maker even ordered the construction of a container ship to capture future market opportunities. Let us wait and see how far these alternative miniature shipping lines can go!


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