Asian container lines Evergreen and Coscon will combine their existing joint Far East-South America (ESA) and Far East-Africa Express services into a single ESA service.

The move aims to handle soaring bunker prices and the deteriorating market conditions in the industry, the carriers said.

The new service will consist of 11 3,500 TEU vessels, seven from Evergreen and four from Coscon.

The first vessel in the service, MASS 0816-015W, will depart from Shanghai on 6 July 2009.