AAPA Seaports Advisory

Liner Shipping: Montreal, Virginia

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Maersk Line Adds New Montreal/Mediterranean Routes

Starting September 30, Maersk Line will offer a weekly connection between the Port of Montreal and the expanding Mediterranean market. Port of call include: Cagliari, Salerno, Leghorn, Genoa, Fos sur Mer, Algeciras, Tangiers, Vigo and Valencia.

"Thanks to this additional route, the MPA will improve its service offering to Canada’s and the U.S. Northeast and Midwest’s companies, and is bolstering its position as a strategic transshipment hub for all types of cargo to and from Mediterranean ports," said Sylvie Vachon, the port’s authority’s president and CEO. "This new service provided by Maersk Line will promote greater diversification in the markets served by connections to the Port of Montreal, and will offer to all importers and exporters additional access to emerging markets".

Biggest Container Vessel to Call U.S. East Coast Comes to Virginia

The largest container ship to ever come to the U.S. East Coast, the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, called first at The Port of Virginia® on August 28, after transiting the Panama Canal.  

With a capacity of 14,414 TEUs and a length of 1,200 feet, the CMA CGM tops the port’s previous record holders – the 13,208 TEU OOCL France, which called in June, and the 13,098 COSCO Development in May.

"This is a notable step-up in size. In Virginia, the big-ship era started in May and we continue to see larger and larger vessels," said John. F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. "The $670 million we are investing to expand Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) will enhance our big-ship readiness and our ability to safely and efficiently handle their increasing cargo loads. Last week, we ordered four new ship-to-shore cranes for VIG, and they will be the largest ever delivered to the East Coast. It’s ships like this and those to follow that are driving our expansion."

At first light Monday morning, a ship pilot from the Virginia Pilot Association guided the vessel to its berth at Virginia International Gateway, where it subsequently loaded and unloaded a total of some 3,000 containers.
"This vessel is taking full advantage of our 50-foot channels, but its arrival also highlights our deeper, wider, safer effort," Mr. Reinhart said. "Our goal is to widen our channels and add five feet of depth. This would allow for two-way ship traffic and create the necessary depth – 55 feet – for these ships to load heavy and safely operate with the necessary river-floor clearance."

CMA CGM is part of the OCEAN Alliance, which also includes COSCO, Evergreen Line and OOCL. In an alliance, the members agree to contribute ships and share space on those vessels. CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt in deployed in the alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, linking Asia to the U.S. East Coast via the via the Panama Canal. The service operates with 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 14,000 TEUs. Virginia is the first U.S. port of call on the SAX service, which also calls Savannah, Charleston, and New York/New Jersey.

CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt shown docked at Virginia International Gateway
Photo/The Port of Virginia


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