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APL WILL OPERATE ITS OWN CONTAINER SERVICE TO/FROM XINGANG AND DALIAN

 OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- American President Lines (APL) said it will inaugurate a weekly North China express container service this fall. The new service will use APL-operated containerships to link Xingang and Dalian with commercial centers throughout North America and Asia. Xingang is the gateway port for Beijing and Tianjin.
 Until now, APL has utilized Chinese-operated feeder vessels for its calls at Dalian and Xingang. The company, which maintains nine full-service offices in China, said that controlling its own vessels and operations in that country will significantly improve service and delivery reliability for time-sensitive shipments.
 Under the new service, the company will operate two containerships to shuttle shipments weekly between China and Kobe or Yokohama, Japan. In Japan, the shipments will be relayed at APL's own container terminals to or from the company's fast trans-Pacific line-haul vessels and intra- Asia containerships.
 The new service is expected to begin in late September. The company is currently phasing it in with fortnightly relays between Xingang and Japan, and will upgrade that service to a weekly basis in mid-August.
 Satellite-based Tracking in China
 To support its growing operations in China, APL has put its Chinese offices on-line with its mainframe computer, making up-to-the-minute shipment tracking possible for both exporters and importers.
 "Among the biggest concerns of manufacturers and retailers doing business with China," said Richard Hiller, managing director for Hong Kong/PRC, "have been the inability to track the status of their shipments, and to avoid scheduling delays." He said APL has successfully addressed both issues on its existing Shanghai and southern China services by providing accurate, timely status reports and by having the ability to precisely set its own sailing schedules.
 APL said the new service for North China will reduce the transit time to Los Angeles to 15 days from 21, and to New York City (intermodal service) to 19 days from 25. Service to Kobe will be three days. Exporters to northern China will also benefit, with transit times from Chicago cut to 27 days from 35. From Japan, the transit time will be five days. All arrivals and departures will always be on regular, fixed days of the week.
 Hiller noted that exports to China from North America and Asia are increasing in value and service sensitivity as disposable income rises in the major Chinese commercial centers. "Whereas the bulk of China's imports have traditionally consisted of raw materials such as cotton and resins," he said, "we are starting to see higher demand for consumer products such as automobiles, cosmetics, electrical home appliances and sporting goods." Also, he said, demand is currently strong for capital goods, machinery and construction materials.
 China's exports continue to consist largely of garments and textiles, footwear, kitchenware and other consumer goods. Many of these commodities are distributed and retailed on a just-in-time basis and accordingly are highly service-sensitive, Hiller noted.
 Service Benefits
 In addition to on-time schedules, reduced transit times and on-line cargo tracking for customers, APL is offering other benefits that have not been available to those doing business with China.
 These include access to a wide range of APL-controlled equipment, including dry 20-, 40-, and 45-foot containers and refrigerated 40-foot containers; computerized documentation production; and quality-trained customer service representatives. Both partial- and full-containerload shipments can be handled.
 APL, through a predecessor company, inaugurated the first regular trans-Pacific steamship services in 1867, and has a long history of calling at Chinese ports. The company is part of the American President Companies (NYSE: APS) group, which provides container transportation and related services in North America, Asia and the Middle East through an intermodal system combining ocean, rail and truck transportation.
 -0- 8/10/93
 /CONTACT: Richard Hiller of APL Hong Kong, 852-7-738-777; or Brian Black of APL Oakland, 510-272-7149; or Steve Potash of Potash & Co., 510- 261-1570, for APL/
 (APS)


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

LH-TM -- SF001 -- 1063 08/10/93 09:15 EDT
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Date:Aug 10, 1993
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