THE BUSINESS unit of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) at the Port of Gdynia in Poland is now connected to Chinese and South Korean ports as it received the first direct call of Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s (MSC) SWAN service on Aug. 23.   

In a statement on Monday, ICTSI said its Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) received MSC’s first direct call of the SWAN service marked by the arrival of the 318-meter box ship KURE, which discharged 1,320 containers and will take almost 2,000 containers on the return journey.

The SWAN service, restored by MSC in May, connects ports in Europe and the Far East and offers a direct connection to Chinese and Korean ports.   

According to ICTSI, the recently revised port rotation is Qingdao – Busan – Ningbo – Yantian – Tanjung Pelepas – Antwerp – Gdynia – Gdańsk – Klaipėda – Bremerhaven – King Abdullah Port – Singapore – Qingdao, with the addition of Busan allowing a direct connection between the port of Gdynia and South Korea.   

“Further direct calls to Gdynia, in addition to the already existing connections to North America and India, open up new prospects for the development of container transport for customers in Poland and the extension of the intermodal offer to new markets, including Ukraine and other Central European countries,” BCT Chief Executive Officer Wojciech Szymulewicz said.

Meanwhile, ICTSI said MSC DOMNA X, which is also operating the SWAN service and sailing directly from the Far East, also called on BCT on Aug. 28.   

“I would like to congratulate MSC and the Port of Gdynia, for this historic moment in which we inaugurate the first-ever direct container connection with Chinese and Korean ports. This milestone redefines the status of BCT and the entire Port of Gdynia. We are changing its role from the current feeder port to a full-fledged maritime import and export gateway,” Mr. Szymulewicz said. 

In May 2003, ICTSI was awarded a 20-year concession by the Port Authority of Gydnia for the development, operation, and management of the container terminal in Pomerania, Gydnia in Poland. ICTSI bought Baltycki Terminal Kontenerowy Sp. z.o.o., which had held the lease to the terminal.

In December last year, ICTSI and the Port Authority of Gdynia signed a new 30-year lease for the BCT. The new lease will run until 2053.

Shares of ICTSI at the local bourse closed unchanged on Monday at P206 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave