ITS to Upgrade Mediterranean –U.S. East Coast Service

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Italia Marittima SpA (ITS) is set to upgrade its Mediterranean – U.S. East Coast (MUS) service in a two-stage process that will see larger and faster ships serving the trade. Direct calls will be offered in Turkey while two Taranto calls will provide a connection with Italia’s Med feeder network. Six vessels, each with a capacity of approximately 2,500 TEU, will replace the present 1,800 TEU vessel fleet. Italia will provide two ships, Ital Oceano and Stadt Wismar, while partners CMA CGM and Gold Star Line are supplying the other four vessels. August will see the addition to the MUS schedule of the Italian hub port of Taranto while Barcelona will replace Valencia as the service’s Spanish call. In September, the three carriers will add the Turkish ports of Istanbul and Izmir to the schedule, providing a direct link between Turkey and the U.S. East Coast. The direct call in Taranto will add significantly to the catchment area for this service as it provides links to its network of feeder services that cover the whole Mediterranean area including North Africa and the Black Sea. Between Taranto and Turkey, the MUS service will also act as a feeder link for cargo being transhipped from Italia’s other services. With effect from the sailing of Diman II (261W) from Taranto on August 4, the new port rotation will be: Taranto – Marsaxlokk (Malta) – Livorno – Genoa – Fos – Barcelona – Lisbon – New York – Norfolk – Savannah – Miami – Marsaxlokk – Taranto – Istanbul – Izmir – Taranto. Italia is to switch the two 1,800 TEU ships it is withdrawing from the MUS service to its new NEC transatlantic service that will link North Europe and the U.S. East Coast from early August.

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