June 9 - From July, Swire Shipping will start to replace the vessels employed in its long established westabout round-the-world service (formerly known as the Bank Line) which links Europe with the Pacific region starting.

The current fleet will be phased out of the trade and replaced by faster, more modern multipurpose ships offering significantly enhanced transit times, better operating efficiency, increased container capacity and greater ability to handle conventional project cargoes.

The new service structure southbound will provide a streamlined rotation and greatly improved transit times to the ports of Papeete and Noumea, as well as a new direct call at Brisbane.

The northbound service will be re-branded the Europe Pacific service (EPS) to reflect the wider port coverage in Australia and New Zealand and that fact that it will now be a direct link to both the Mediterranean Sea and northwest continental Europe.

Cargoes routed on the existing northbound WRTW trade from the Pacific and S.E. Asian regions to Europe will be accommodated on Swire's existing services ex-Asia, with on-carriage in Singapore for direct delivery to European and Mediterranean ports of call. Swire has advised the further details about this will be announced shortly.