March 24 - Swire Shipping's North Asia service will now call at the Japanese ports of Yokohama and Osaka before arriving at Busan, South Korea.

Other ports prior to Japan and after South Korea will remain unchanged and once the change has been implemented, regular voyage frequency and port coverage will resume, said Swire.

The new service will commence with the sailing of the vessel Shanshi. While Yokohama is currently only being called on every second voyage, ships will now sail directly from Shanghai to Yokohama, followed by Osaka and then Busan.

Swire says that by placing the key strategic hub of Busan as its last port in Asia, transit times will be improved by up to six days for cargo heading south.

As part of the integration of this change, Swire noted that it will be necessary to omit the port of Osaka with the vessel Shantung, due to shortened spacing created through these changes.

One additional New Zealand port (Marsden Point) will also be added on every second voyage.