Source: China Shipping Line.
(Detailed PDF Map)
AMAX Round-the-World Route, 2005-2007
The first round-the-world routes were introduced in 1984 by the Taiwanese maritime shipping company Evergreen. This route took about 69 days and was serviced by about ten 4,000 TEUs ships in each direction (Westbound and Eastbound). Each port was thus called twice a week. However, by early 2002 this service was replaced by two pendulum services (North Europe, North and Central America and East Asia; North Europe, Asia and the Pacific North West) offering higher service frequencies.
In 2005, a new round-the-world service was introduced by China Shipping Line (AMAX) that included a rotation of ten 4,250 TEU containerships (the maximum size that can go through the Panama Canal) completed in about 62 days. This service was mainly designed to support Chinese exports to Europe and the East Coast of North America and bring back empty containers on the leg back across the Pacific through Los Angeles. In 2007, the AMAX service was discontinued, underlining the challenges of running profitable round-the-world container shipping services in light of competing pendulum services. The expansion of the Panama Canal will likely trigger the reconsideration of these services.