November 26 - Pacific International Lines (PIL) has confirmed reports that it has introduced four 17,500-dwt vessels, acquired secondhand from Schoeller Holdings of Germany, to the multi purpose service that it reintroduced earlier this year in the trade

With six ships now operating the service, PIL will call Xingiang, Dalian and Shanghai as the main loading ports and Bata and Lagos in West Africa as the principal discharge ports, with other ports en route available on inducement. Each ship has onboard crane lifting capacities of 220 tonnes and PIL says that the multi purpose service is geared up to handle project cargo and individual heavylift pieces such as transformers, generators, yachts and other items between China and Africa.

PIL has also confirmed reports that the line has also placed an order with shipyards in China for eight newbuilds in the 24,000 to 27,000-dwt range. These ships are due for delivery from the end of 2011 through into 2013.

PIL operates a fleet of around 130 ships with a total capacity of approximately 241,000 teu. The line offers container services from the Far East to Europe, Canada, the Indian sub-continent, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, Black Sea, East Africa, South Africa, West Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, East Coast South America, and West Coast USA. The line also has two subsidiary companies, Advanced Container Lines (ACL) and Pacific Direct Line(PDL) providing a dedicated network of feeder services covering ports in South East Asia, the Bay of Bengal, East Coast India and the Pacific Islands.