Saturday, July 4, 2020

Maersk MECL1 tryout

Maersk Line, the world's largest container ship operator, is known for its agility in cutting or adding services depending on conditions. Today's arrival of the Maersk Chicago may be the first arrival of a regular stop on the MECL1 service or merely a trial run.

A rare US flag ship arriving July 4.

Maersk Chicago was built as Maersk Kuantan in 2007 by Hanjin Heavy Industry + Construction Co Ltd in Busan. The 74,642 gt, 84,500 dwt ship has a capacity of 6188 TEU. It assumed its present name in 2013 when it was taken over by Maersk Line USA Ltd and re-flagged to the United States.

Although not qualifying as a Jones Act ship (it was not built in the US), its US registration allows it to carry US government cargo and to benefit from other considerations. The MECL1 service runs from Pakistan, India, UAE, Egypt, Algeciras, and on to Newark, Charleston, Savannah and Houston (westbound) and retraces the same steps eastbound on a 45 day rotation.

I have lost count of the number of times Maersk has introduced, then cut services in and out of Halifax, so I would not count on this becoming a regular call. However rumours continue to abound about service changes by various lines in the region and Maersk may well be getting its foot in the door early.


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