AMAX Round-the-World Route, 2005-2007

AMAX Round-the-World Route, 2005-2007

Source: China Shipping Line.

The first round-the-world routes were introduced in 1984 by the Taiwanese maritime shipping company Evergreen. This route took about 69 days and was serviced by about ten containership of 4,000 TEUs in each direction (Westbound and Eastbound). Each port was thus called twice a week. However, by early 2002 this service was replaced by two pendulum services (North Europe, North and Central America, and East Asia; North Europe, Asia, and the Pacific North West) offering higher service frequencies.

In 2005, a new round-the-world service was introduced by China Shipping Line (AMAX) that included a rotation of ten 4,250 TEU containerships (the maximum size that can go through the Panama Canal) completed in about 67 days. This service was mainly designed to support Chinese exports to Europe and the East Coast of North America and bring back empty containers on the back leg across the Pacific through Los Angeles. In 2007, the AMAX service was discontinued, underlining the challenges of running profitable round-the-world container shipping services in light of competing pendulum services. The expansion of the Panama Canal that took place in 2016 will likely trigger the reconsideration of these services.