The cessation of ZEX will mean that the Israeli liner operator will no longer have any calls in Los Angeles and will return to its traditional coverage of the Pacific Northwest and the US East Coast.
According to container shipping consultancy Linerlytica, ZEX’s last sailing is expected on 30 March 2023, when the 4,253 TEU Alexander Bay completes its current voyage at Busan.
ZEX was launched in June 2020 to respond to the increased demand on the transpacific, as logistical bottlenecks developed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
ZEX was originally designed to call only at Yantian, Dachan Bay, Los Angeles on a 35-day round trip, using five 4,250 TEU ships.
ZEX marked Zim’s return to the Pacific Southwest after it first exited the lane in 2004 as it focussed primarily on the Pacific Northwest route on the US West Coast as well as its traditional mainstay all-water connections to the US East Coast.
The successful launch of the ZEX led to the introduction of two more Pacific Southwest services, the Zim Southeast Asia eCommerce Xpress (ZX2) in March 2021 and the Zim Central China eCommerce Xpress (ZX3) in May 2021. However, the severe port congestion in the US West Coast forced the company to abandon the ZX2 and ZX3 services in March 2022 and consolidate the ZEX service which was amended to call at Ningbo, Xiamen, Yantian, Los Angeles, Busan, Ningbo. Confirming the end of the ZEX service, a ZIM spokesperson told Container News, “ZEX, a premium service designed for e-commerce, has been suspended till further notice due to changing demand. We continuously review and adjust our services. These changes are part of our agile approach, as we are attentive to market dynamics.”