Horizon Lines Inc. plans to inaugurate in December its own weekly trans-Pacific liner service between Asia and the U.S. West Coast. The service will utilize the carrier's five Hunter-class containerships; currently they call on Guam and continue on to China under a space-charter agreement with Maersk Line. Each of the U.S.-flag vessels has a capacity of 2,824 twenty-foot equivalent units. In preparation for the change, Horizon and Maersk have agreed not to renew their current Asia space-charter agreement when it expires on December 10. Horizon's decision to inaugurate its own service represents the best utilization of the Hunter-class vessels, the line said. It believes that a niche player can offer "quick transit times with the highest levels of service excellence," said Chuck Raymond, Horizon Lines' chairman, president and chief executive officer. Horizon has partnered with Maersk on the route for the last 10 years. The line also announced that it has agreed to a new six-year U.S. terminal services agreement with APM Terminals North America. Both APMT and Maersk Line are divisions of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.
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