zoom Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) plans to launch two new services between Asia and Australia under a vessel sharing agreement (VSA) with three European carriers, starting from May 2017. To be jointly operated by MOL and Denmark-based Maersk Line, the new Asia-Australia Express will be a pendulum service, linking Northeast Asia to Australia and Southeast Asia to Australia.Under the VSA, MOL will operate three ships and Maersk Line will operate nine ships. The Asia-Australia Express will serve as a replacement for the existing AU2 and AAB/AAT services, according to MOL.Port rotation of the Asia-Australia Express service will be as follows: Yokohama, Osaka (Japan), Busan (South Korea), Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo (China), Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle (Australia), Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Singapore (Singapore), Laem Chabang (Thailand), Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Yokohama.The second service, the China-Taiwan-Australia Express (CAE service), will connect China, Taiwan and Australia. The CAE service will be jointly operated by German-based Hamburg Süd, Maersk Line and Switzerland-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).According to MOL, the CAE service will serve as a replacement of the existing AU1 service.The CAE service will include the ports of Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Xiamen, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian (China), Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane (Australia) and Kaohsiung.In addition, MOL’s existing NZ1 and NZ2 services will also be enhanced by adding Brisbane port of calls in NZ1 service and Sydney port of calls in NZ2 service.Separately, MSC informed about the service upgrades related to the VSA between the four shipping companies that will come into force in May 2017.MSC’s said its Wallaby Service to and from North East Asia will continue to operate the following port rotation, while maintaining the same transit times: Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai (Yangshan), Ningbo, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Yokohama.The company said that the last vessel on the current VSA will be ER France, with an estimated time of arrival in Yokohama on May 2, 2017.Another MSC’s service, the Panda Service, will see improved South China coverage as a result of the additions of Xiamen and Nansha ports.The rotation of the Panda Service will be as follows: Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Kaohsiung.The last vessel on the current VSA will be CAP FRIO, with an estimated time of arrival in Kaohsiung on May 4, 2017, according to MSC.