RKK LINE to increase small cargo shipment

August 10, 2014 Akiko Kuwabara of Ryukyu Shimpo

To increase export cargo from Okinawa, RKK Shipping Lines Co. will start including 10-feet containers in its regular container shipping service from September. By using containers smaller than usual, the company aims to increase small cargo exports. RKK LINE also wants small-and-medium-sized companies in Okinawa to promote the service.

The company uses a route connecting Hakata, Kagoshima, Naha, Miyako, and Ishigaki with Gaoxiong in Taiwan. The company ships cargo collected at Gaoxiong from various countries to Naha. It ships cargo containing daily commodities on the route between Hakata and Ishigaki before heading to Taiwan, where no goods are shipped because of the container size.

The company focuses on utilizing vacant space effectively and securing export cargo.

The International Organization for Standardization usually asks shipping companies to use containers of 20 or 40-feet in length for international shipping. In many cases, ports cannot deal with 10-feet containers.

RKK LINE negotiated with port managers in Taiwan and got their approval to use 10-feet containers temporarily.

The company operates a RORO ship once a week on the Taiwan route. It leaves from Naha on Friday night and arrives in Gaoxiong on Sunday morning.

Hiroshi Takasaki of the company said, “Using RORO ships is cheaper than airplanes and takes less time to transport goods than container ships.” He went on to say, “Including 10-feet containers in a regular container shipping services can lead to increasing the amount of small-shipment cargo. We would like Okinawan companies thinking of expanding from small shipments to overseas transportation, to use the service.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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