Swiss freight forwarder Panalpina announced last week the addition of 26 less-than-container load (LCL) services for its operations in South East Asia, which include services for the automotive industry. The company said the increased service will allow up to three sailings a week on primary ocean trade routes from Hong Kong to Singapore, Shanghai to Busan, and Singapore to Hamburg. 

Panalpina said its current operations reflected a move to offer alternatives to air freight. Last year, the company launched three new direct LCL services from Japan to Singapore. 

“These new services are part of an on-going effort to constantly upgrade and develop our LCL network,” said the group’s global head of ocean freight LCL, Clas Thorell. “Our strategically placed hubs combined with our vast service network increase access to both growing and traditional markets, enabling our customers to capitalise on the existing potential, especially in Asia Pacific.”

Panalpina’s ocean freight volumes increased by 8% in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2012, which was significant against a growth in the market of 3%. Strong volumes were recorded in the automotive sector, as well as in the consumer, retail, manufacturing, high-tech and oil and gas sectors. This led to a 7% gross profit increase to CHF129m ($140.8m) in the ocean freight part of the business.

Tomas Hammar, the regional head of ocean freight LCL for Panalpina’s Asia Pacific industry, added: “We provide the highest level of schedule integrity and give customers access to more markets with more departures. It’s a very attractive offering that ensures freight moves as planned.”