April 3 - Last week saw BBC Karan make the maiden call of BBC Chartering's new Europe-Asia service in the Port of Hamburg, when the ship called at C. Steinweg (S

In Hamburg, the new BBC Euro-Asia Express Line service will be offering bi-weekly eastward sailings to Asia. Alongside Hamburg, export cargo for Asia will also be loaded at the ports of Rauma, Kristiansand, Antwerp, Bilbao and Porto Maghera.

The following ports of discharge are on the schedule in Asia: Port Klang, Singapore, Batam, Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong and Hong Kong in South-East Asia, as well as Shanghai, Masan, Busan, Kobe and Yokohama in the Far East.

The vessels deployed will be shipping cargo westward every three weeks from Asia to Europe. On this route, cargo will be loaded in Masan, Yokohama, Shanghai and Singapore and discharged in Mariupol, Genoa, Bilbao, Antwerp and Hamburg. The first vessel of the BBC Euro-Asia Express Line service from Asia - the BBC Baltic - is expected to arrive in Hamburg on May 20.

Mainly multi-purpose ships are deployed on the BBC Euro-Asia Express Line, each with deadweight of 7,200 dwt. The units deployed also have ice class ratings, enabling them to sail all year. BBC Karan is 127 m long, 20 m wide and equipped with two onboard cranes that can lift 150 tonnes each or 300 tonnes in combination.

The new heavy lift cargo service underscores Hamburg's significance as a universal port. A total of approx. 1.4 million tonnes of conventional general cargo was exported via Hamburg in 2011. The lion's share is accounted for by exports of heavy and project cargo, roughly 684,000 tonnes.