Swire Shipping has upgraded its North Asia Express (NAX) service connecting North Asia with Papa New Guinea and Australia.

The NAX service will operate on a fixed-day fortnightly basis from November 2020 to better serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The service – which was first launched in July 2015 to provide a direct link between North Asia, Townsville (Australia), and Lae (Papa New Guinea) – will connect the regions with “market-leading transit times”, according to Swire Shipping.

Swire Shipping will deploy three vessels for this service, including the newbuild Lae Chief – due to be delivered October 2020. Fitted with 45-tonne capacity cranes and capable of executing tandem lifts, the vessel can handle a variety of cargo types, including breakbulk, out-of-gauge (OOG) and reefers.

“Our direct express services from Asia to the Pacific have always been popular with customers and we are pleased to be able to offer more options to them with these newly announced improved frequencies on the upgraded NAX service,” said Jeremy Sutton, general manager of Swire Shipping.

“This service upgrade will enable Swire Shipping’s customers to improve their supply chain efficiency and inventory management from both an import and export perspective,” Sutton added.