MSC has announced the launch of a new Inter-Asia service called Shikra, aimed at strengthening port connectivity and availability in Asia.

The independently-managed service will operate between the main ports of China and India.

The Shikra service will start with the MSC MARA on voyage QS321A, with an expected arrival in Qingdao on 23 May 2023.

According to the shipping company, the service will provide greater access to key ports with the following rotation:

Qingdao – Shanghai – Ningbo – Kaohsiung – Shekou – Singapore – Colombo – Nhava Sheva – Mundra – Colombo – Port Klang – Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Vung Tau – Qingdao

This new service will enable MSC to update its Sentosa service by removing calls at Mundra, Nhava Sheva, and Colombo, which will now be well covered by the Shikra service.

The move is expected to help the company meet the growing demand for shipping services in the region and provide its customers with better access to key ports.

In March, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has delivered the 24,116 TEU MSC Tessa, the world’s largest containership.

The delivery takes place as part of a four-vessel deal with MSC, worth around $600 million.