APL has enhanced its Eagle Express 1 service and named the six vessels deployed for the service after former US presidents.
According to APL, the North Asian leg from the US West Coast will be sped up, with the transit time to Yokohama and Naha cut by two and four days respectively. Yokohama serves as a relay hub for shipments to Guam and Saipan via APL’s Guam Saipan Express service, which will now arrive in Guam on Mondays as a result of the change.
The six container vessels operating the EX1 service will be named President FD Roosevelt, President Wilson, President Cleveland, President Truman, President Eisenhower and President Kennedy. Five of these ships are new to the EX1 service. The first vessel in the series is currently going through the reflagging process at the Global Gateway South Terminal in Los Angeles.
“Operating a fleet of US-flagged vessels, crewed by American citizens, is historical business for APL and part of our roots,” said Eric Mensing, senior vice president of American President Lines, LLC and president/CEO of APL Maritime. “We pride ourselves in delivering mission-critical supplies, food and equipment to our troops overseas. Making this vast investment on our main trans-Pacific US-flagged service shows our commitment to service quality and innovation. During this process, APL received great support from The Maritime Administration, US Transportation Command, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, US Coast Guard and partners of American labour unions.”
The enhanced EX1 service has a port rotation of: Qingdao – Shanghai – Busan – Los Angeles – Oakland – Yokohama – Naha – Busan – Qingdao. The first sailing will depart from Qingdao on July 20, 2018.
Since the 1920s, about 90 APL vessels have been named after US presidents, according to the shipping line.