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 OAKLAND, Calif., and Mexico DF, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- American President Lines (APL) and Transporcation Maritima Mexicana (TMM), known as Mexican Line, have announced that they plan to offer a direct, all- water container service between Asia and Mexico's Pacific Coast. It will be the first such service to link the two markets on a fixed-day-of- the-week basis. At the same time, TMM will begin providing a regular weekly container service from Asia to the United States, in partnership with APL. The new services are subject to U.S. regulatory approval.
 Both carriers said their customers will benefit from faster, more reliable service. The improvements will be made possible through a slot exchange agreement that will allow APL and TMM to utilize space aboard each other's trans-Pacific containerships.
 APL & TMM All-Water Services to Mexico
 Under the new system, cargo originating at virtually any major port in Asia will move by APL containership to APL terminals in Japan and Korea, where it will relay to one of six TMM vessels bound for the Mexican ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas. Store-door pick-up and delivery to or from these modern ports will be available for Mexico City, Guadalajara, Leon, Aguascalientes, Cuernavaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Toluca and practically all interior points.
 The joint announcement was made by Joaquin Montalvan, vice president of APL's Mexican affiliate, APC de Mexico, based in Mexico City; and Francisco Kassian, director of TMM's Pacific division, Mexico City. They said customers of both companies would realize several advantages as a result of this unique partnership.
 In the case of Mexican Line, these include substantial improvement in transit times from Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan to Mexico; introduction of fixed, weekly direct service from Japan and Korea, which will replace the existing 8-1/2 day rotation; and access to APL's extensive Asia network, said Kassian.
 For its customers, APL will eliminate the need for double customs entries, said Montalvan, and substantially reduce transit times. For example, from Busan to Mexico City, the transit will take 19 days, saving two days. (Until now, APL's shipments from Asia cleared customs first at Los Angeles, where they arrived by APL containership, and again as they crossed the border by truck or on the company's own double-stack container trains.) The transit time to Yokohama from Mexico City will be 18 days, saving one full week.
 Montalvan noted that APL's extensive on-line telecommunications network includes all Asian service points and each of the company's four offices in Mexico, providing state-of-the-art shipment-tracking capabilities.
 Both carriers said they will also initiate a weekly joint feeder operation from Mexico to destinations in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, including a new call at Balboa, Panama. This service will provide competitive transit times from the Far East to Central America.
 Fixed Weekly U.S. Service for TMM
 The APL/TMM partnership will not only enable TMM to step from an eight-day frequency in the United States to a fixed-day, weekly rotation, it will also enable Mexican Line to extend its service to Oakland and Seattle, riding on APL vessels, as well as to Singapore and Port Klang.
 The company's offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco will be expanded, and an office in Seattle will be opened, according to Kassian. He said computer enhancements at all locations are being implemented.
 Furthermore, TMM's transit times to the United States will be enhanced. From Hong Kong to Southern California, for example, the voyage will be reduced by six days to 13 days, and, from Los Angeles to Yokohama, two days will be shaved from Mexican Line's previous 13-day transit.
 In addition, TMM said it intends to negotiate with APL's affiliate, APL Stacktrain Services, to expand its intermodal capabilities in the United States.
 The two companies will market their services separately and coordinate their own customers' cargo, stressed Montalvan and Kassian. Specifically, each company will manage such functions as customer service; documentation; cargo-handling; truck connections within Mexico, including chassis and container pools; claims processing; shipment status reporting; and other functions designed to keep shipments on time and customers informed.
 Montalvan and Kassian noted that this slot exchange agreement is seen as only the start of an ongoing collaboration between the two companies covering other transportation activities of mutual interest.
 APL is the leading container operator between Asia and North America. It is part of the American President Companies (NYSE: APS) group, based in Oakland. The group provides container transportation and related services in North America, Asia and the Middle East through an intermodal system combining ocean, rail and truck transportation.
 Headquartered in Mexico City, TMM is Latin America's largest integrated transportation company. Through its 21 branch offices and network of subsidiary companies, TMM provides a dynamic combination of ocean and land transportation services inside Mexico. Serving North, Central and South America, as well as Asia and Europe, Mexican Line vessels regularly link 35 countries through 150 ports.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: Charles Kerr of TMM/Los Angeles, 310-514-2929; or Miguel Garcia or Pedro Sanchez Mejorada of TMM/Mexico City, 011-52-5-606-0444; or Bob Griffith or Jim Cozine of APL/Oakland, 510-272-8514, or 510-272-7403/

CO: American President Companies; American President Lines ST: California IN: TRN SU:

TB-TM -- SF003 -- 0551 11/04/93 09:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 4, 1993

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