Market Updates

UWL, Swire Launch New Ocean Service Linking Cambodia to Seattle

25-Day Transit is the Fastest in the Cambodia – U.S. West Coast Trade

CLEVELAND, Ohio, August 4, 2022 – UWL, in partnership with Swire Shipping, has linked a new dedicated barge service from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to its express ocean transportation service between Vietnam and Seattle that allows shippers in Cambodia to reach the U.S. West Coast in a mere 25 days, faster than any other service provider in the trade.

UWL, a top-15 American-owned NVOCC and leading provider of global 3PL services, said the new feeder service will provide importers with guaranteed access to equipment and capacity in Phnom Penh and reduce reliance on expensive cross-border trucking between Cambodian factories and the Port of Ho Chi Minh City.

UWL has contracted with Swire Shipping, a multi-purpose liner service, to provide the container tug and barge service from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. After a short 18-24 hour transit, containers are loaded onto the 19-day, bi-weekly Sun Chief service from Ho Chi Minh to Seattle. The service was forged through a revolutionary agreement in which UWL became the first NVOCC to provide this kind of dedicated ocean service in the trade.

“During this highly volatile time in the shipping industry, customers have been looking for faster, reliable service to the West Coast,” said UWL President Duncan Wright. “Our goal with this new service is to provide a predictable, premium product connecting 100 percent to Seattle on every express voyage from Ho Chi Minh. By doing so, we will help importers reduce their supply chain risk.”

Swire Shipping vessel Changsha, laden with UWL containers, departs Ho Chi Minh's SP-ITC terminal during sunset.

Swire Shipping vessel Changsha, laden with UWL containers, departs Ho Chi Minh's SP-ITC terminal during sunset.

“In providing an all-water solution from Phnom Penh to Seattle via our Ho Chi Minh City terminal, the service will deliver the fastest transit in the market. At less than four weeks, this will not only have a material impact on cost reduction by moving road freight from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City but also reduce carbon footprint considerably. Connecting Cambodia directly to this service means that we can start to become a viable alternative to more expensive truck – ocean, or ocean – air services. There are natural benefits for clients to reduce inventory cash burn which have been caused by excessive transit times through inefficient feeder connectivity into major hub ports. The service offers a viable alternative to more expensive transportation modes, such as air, while mitigating the impact to man-made global warming. We are confident that clients with a need for speed, safety and sustainability will find our offer extremely compelling,” said Rufus Frere-Smith, Regional Head, Americas, Swire Shipping.

UWL’s express service from Vietnam to Seattle, which was inaugurated earlier this year, has been well-received by customers. Linking Cambodia with this service is seen as a natural extension into another important Asian market where there are no direct calls and no good connections from Phnom Penh to the U.S. West Coast, resulting in transits that can take as many as 50 to 60 days.

UWL’s new feeder service from Cambodia not only cuts those transit times in half, but provides importers with other advantages associated with the express Vietnam – Seattle service. Those include priority berthing at both origin and destination and a dedicated equipment pool for suppliers, including 6,000 brand-new ocean containers, with 40-foot-high cube and 20-foot containers already in the rotation. Predictability is assured, as schedules are published nine months in advance, with two sailings per month.

Upon arrival in Seattle, those needing warehousing or distribution space can take advantage of UWL’s sister company, World Distribution Services (WDS), and its brand-new 300,000 sq. ft. facility near Tacoma, Wash, just a short drive away from the Port of Seattle.

“We are expanding our presence in the Asia Pacific market, and this new service is indicative of our commitment to grow to meet the supply chain needs of our customers in the market,” said Wright.


About UWL

UWL is a top-15 American-owned NVOCC and leading provider of global 3PL services. The company takes pride in delivering seamless supply chain solutions backed by a team of creative problem-solvers. Specializing in ocean transportation, air freight, road and rail, warehousing and distribution, project cargo, and customs house brokerage, their proof is in owned assets: a national network of distribution centers, dependable trucking capacity, and WorldScope, a user-friendly data management platform that delivers transparency and visibility customers can count on. Wherever your freight needs to go, they can help get it there. To find out more, visit their website at


About Swire Shipping

Swire Shipping is a privately owned organization that was founded in 1872 and now comprises over 600 employees in 20 countries. The company owns and deploys over 30 vessels in the intra-Asia, Australasia, and Polynesia trades. It is part of the Swire Group which is a Hong Kong- and London-based British conglomerate. Many of its core businesses can be found within the Asia Pacific region, where traditionally Swire’s operations have centered on Hong Kong and mainland China. Its subsidiaries include Cathay Pacific Airlines, Swire Properties, China Navigation Company, Swire Hotels and Swire Resources.


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