South Korean company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM ) has launched a new Korea-Vietnam-Cambodia direct route, called China-Thailand-Express (CTX), to boost its presence in the intra-Asia market.

The CTX service will connect China’s Tianjin and Shanghai, South Korea’s Busan and Gwangyang, Vietnam’s Hochiminh, Cambodia’s Sihanoukville, Thailand’s Laem Chabang, and Philippines’ Manila.

HHM said its service turns cargo around in three weeks using four 2,200TEU container vessels, Hyundai Bridge, Hyundai Future, Hyundai Highway and Hyundai Vladivostok.

Commencing its first journey from Hyundai Pusan New Port Terminal in Busan, Hyundai Vladivostok expects to return to Sun-kwang Newport Container Terminal in Incheon, South Korea, by the end of this month.

The vessel will complete its journey from Busan to Hochiminh in six days and it will take 10 days to cover the route from Hochiminh and to Laem Chabang.

HMM officials said "This service is a direct service connecting Korea-Cambodia, and it only takes eight days to Sihanoukville.

"This service is a direct service connecting Korea-Cambodia, and it only takes eight days to Sihanoukville."

"With this service HMM can meet the high supply demands in intra-Asia region."

Currently, HHM operates around 130 vessels.

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port director general Lou Kim Chhun was quoted by Khmer Times as saying: "It is a positive sign for Cambodia’s economic growth that investors can see, especially the fast growing loaded container activities.

"It is also favorable to Cambodia’s economy, which needs to ship out products to foreign markets in a timely fashion."

With the help of the new services, Cambodia expects to ship products from the port to other ports in the region, including ports in the Philippines, Japan and Korea.

Image: A current HMM vessel. Photo: courtesy of Hyundai Merchant Marine co ltd.