The new vessel launched the fixed-day fortnightly service with its maiden voyage

12 November 2020, Singapore - Swire Shipping has deployed its first 2,750TEU newbuild, MV Lae Chief, on its newly upgraded North Asia Express (NAX) service. Launching the new fixed-day fortnightly service with her maiden voyage, the vessel made her first port call in Shanghai on 5 November 2020. She made subsequent port calls in Ningbo, Nansha and Hong Kong SAR, and is currently en route to make port calls in Lae, Port Moresby and Townsville before returning to Shanghai.

The new 2,750TEU vessel is fitted with three 45mt cranes capable of dual lifts, ensuring that they are well-equipped to carry all cargo types, including breakbulk, out of gauge and reefers. With strengthened tank tops to 20t/m², MV Lae Chief is capable of carrying breakbulk such as steel and forest products, as well as vehicles up to 70t.

New, modern vessels deployed to support growth in the region

At 2,750TEU nominal capacity, MV Lae Chief and her sister vessels will be Swire Shipping’s largest container vessels calling in Papua New Guinea. Swire Shipping will deploy three newbuild vessels on the upgraded NAX service, offering its customers and the communities it serves a reliable fixed-day product that will support continued growth in the region.

“This is a proud moment for Swire Shipping, not only because we have launched the fixed-day fortnightly service from North Asia to Papua New Guinea and Australia, but also because we have done this by deploying these owned, modern and eco-friendly vessels,” said Mr Jeremy Sutton, General Manager of Swire Shipping.

“By deploying these new ships on our upgraded service, customers will enjoy a more frequent product, delivered on fixed-days and with the ability for future growth.”

Providing shipping solutions sustainably

The eco-friendly and high-quality newbuilds, which are owned, crewed and technically managed by Swire Shipping, will offer customers an exceptionally reliable and sustainable solution to their shipping and cargo needs.

Commenting on the launch of the new vessel, Mr Sutton said, “We are delighted to have named this vessel Lae Chief, which highlights our dedication to the region. Swire Shipping has operated in the Pacific region for more than 80 years and our aim is to enrich lives by connecting customers with communities in the Pacific. We recognise that our key markets rely heavily on shipping services and we strive to provide these shipping solutions in a sustainable way, while saving our customers’ time.”

“We have invested significantly in Project Cerulean1and the Moana Taka Partnership2 to benefit the local communities, and we are confident that the fixed-day fortnightly service and the deployment of new, modern vessels to the Pacific will also enable our customers and communities to thrive in the long term,” added Mr Sutton.

MV Lae Chief is the first out of three 2,750TEU newbuilds that will be deployed on Swire Shipping’s NAX service. Its sister vessels, MV Noumea Chief and MV Suva Chief, are expected to be deployed into service in 2021.




1 A project aimed at developing a new class of small cargo freighter, which, once proven to be commercially and operationally viable, can be scaled up to provide a cost-effective solution for currently marginalised communities in the Pacific Island Communities and Territories (PICT). (Source:

A project aimed at improving waste management in the Pacific island nations (Source:



Download the press release here (English & Chinese versions available).


Media Contacts:

Yee Wen WONG
Communications Manager, Swire Shipping

Mobile: +65 9299 6305