Trans Asia Line opens Malaysia office
India-based Trans Asia Line has joined with Starship Group in a new joint venture called Trans Asia Line, Malaysia, as part of the shipping line's strategy to enhance its services in the region. Speaking to Asian Shipper on the move to Malaysia, Trans Asia Line regional manager (Southeast Asia and China), Prakash Nair, said the group was looking to offer liner services covering all of east and west Malaysia.
"Malaysia holds a lot of promise for us and we have studied the market and come to understand that the potential of business transacted with Malaysia and India and the Middle East is quite substantial, and we could not help but give it proper attention," he said. Mr Nair says the Cochin-headquartered company's intention is to make Malaysia its next key port in southeast Asia.
With Malaysia now set up, Mr Nair said the company would next be looking to spread its wings in China.
"China is really our next frontier," he said, adding that the company was aiming to launch itself in the country by the first half of 2007.
The group, which already manufactures it containers in China, now operates with a fleet of 8,500 TEU and likely to hit the 10,000 TEU mark by in the first quarter next year.
Company chairman and managing director Johnson Matthew said Trans Asia China, which the group is looking to launch by next year, will act as an NVOCC company, partnering with regional carriers.
The group also plans to cover four to five ports in the country. According to him, next on the agenda is the construction of a 3,000 dwt multi-purpose ro/ro container ship at its own shipyard in Cochin. This ship will be flagged in Singapore. By the year 2009, the group intends to own a fleet of up to four ships of varying capacities.
In other news, the regional manager also told the Asian Shipper that Trans Asia Line will enhance its customer service. As part of the group's enhanced programme, it has introduced a 24-hour live chat room for customers.
The live chat programme, which runs along the same lines as other web-based chat rooms, offers customers 24-hour access to air grievances and explain problems with their shipments and secure a quick responses and solutions.