February 21 - BBC Chartering has started a new liner service connecting Europe and Asia.

Marketed as the BBC Euro-Asia Express Line, the new service offers fortnightly sailings to Asia and sails every three weeks to Europe, says BBC Chartering, loading in the ports of Rauma, Finland; Kristiansand, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Bilbao, Spain; and Porto Maghera, Italy; then discharging in Port Kelang, Malaysia; Singapore; Batam, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh and Haiphong, Vietnam; Hong Kong; Shanghai, China; Masan / Busan, South Korea; Kobe / Yokohama, Japan.

Westbound, the service loads in Masan, Yokohama, Shanghai, and Singapore and discharges in Mariupol, Ukraine; Genoa, Italy; Bilbao, Antwerp and Hamburg.

Other ports onroute can be added on inducement.

Sandra Markus, line manager at BBC Chartering's hq in Leer, Germany, says: "The new line offers a high frequency on a long haul service and gives charterers also attractive transshipment options in the Black Sea (Mariupol) and in Antwerp interfacing with our established Caspian service. The line is of high interest for the shipment of energy related equipment."

BBC says that it will mainly deploy its 7,200 dwt multipurpose ro-ro / heavy lift ships on the service. These vessels, also referred to as 'K-types', offer lifting capabilities up to 300 tonnes (two x 150 tonnes) and possess the highest ice class enabling to sail all year round on the designated route.

The first sailing eastbound will be undertaken by BBC Karan, out of Rauma; with BBC Bangkok undertaking the maiden voyage westbound out of Masan. Pictured is another of the K-type ships, BBC Konan.

BBC Chartering previously announced it is strengthening its global liner activities responding to market requirements and its ongoing business development. In December 2011, the company introduced its BBC Americana Line - Med Service.

Svend Andersen, managing director of BBC Chartering, states: "Although current economics in the breakbulk and project cargo market remain difficult we continue to improve BBC Chartering's services. The new service connects Asia, Europe and the Caspian Sea, hence offering a unique break bulk and project cargo proposition to our clients."

This service introduction represents a natural step in the company's further development as BBC Chartering reports it wants a 'healthily balanced business' regarding the employment of vessels in tramp, liner, and affreightment services.