Horizon Lines, Inc. (NYSE:HRZ) announced that it has reached a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with APM Terminals North America (APMT) for a new six-year U.S. terminal services agreement, effective immediately. The prior agreement with APMT was scheduled to expire on December 10, 2010. The MOU applies to stevedoring and terminal services provided to Horizon Lines by APMT in Jacksonville, Fla.; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Tacoma, Wash. and Elizabeth, N.J., through 2015, with an option to extend for two years. Horizon Lines has the option to exclude the Elizabeth terminal from the agreement if it chooses to serve the Northeast market from a port not located in N.Y. or N.J.
At the same time, Horizon Lines announced plans to commence in December 2010 its own weekly trans-Pacific liner service between Asia and the U.S. West Coast. The new service will utilize the company's five 2,824 twenty-foot-equivalent-unit (TEU) capacity, 23-knot, U.S. flag Hunter-class containerships that currently call on Guam and continue on to China as part of a space-charter agreement with Maersk Line. In preparation for these plans, Horizon Lines and Maersk Line have mutually agreed not to renew their current Asia space-charter agreement when it expires on December 10, 2010.