Taiwan’s TS Lines has become the latest regional liner operator to re-enter the booming transpacific trade.

The Asian region specialist will join as a partner on a service launched by Dubai-based SeaLead Shipping on 16 June.

TS Lines last entered the transpacific trade in 2021 but pulled out early last year after rates normalised.

It is expected to re-enter the trade as a partner in SeaLead’s Asia West Coast service connecting China and South Korea with Long Beach, California.

TS Lines will add four ships to the service, starting with the 2,954-teu TS Tacoma and TS Melbourne (both built 2023), according to Linerlytica.

Transpacific freight rates are booming.

The underlying freight rate on the Asia-US West Coast route was $8,103 per 40-foot equivalent unit (feu) on Friday, just short of its all-time high of $8,117, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index.

Rates from Asia to the US East Coast were assessed at $9,945 per feu, nearing the pandemic high of $11,976 per feu.

The surge in rates has seen other liner companies adding significantly more capacity to the transpacific trade.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co is reinstating its Mustang service between Asia and California on 13 July with the sailing of the 16,616-teu MSC Lella (built 2024), followed by other large vessels in this category.

Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines last month launched an additional service using six traditional panamax-size vessels.

Other companies increasing capacity on the transpacific include Cosco Shipping Lines and sister company Orient Overseas Container Line.