, Limited (MLL) announced has enhanced its U.S. flag capacity with a weekly U.S. flag service to the Middle East. MLL has taken several strategic actions to improve customer service, including the introduction of three new container vessels.
MLL has already inserted two of three G-class container ships, the Maersk Montana and the Maersk Ohio. Both have sailed their maiden voyages as U.S. flag vessels. On August 21st MLL will flag the Maersk Iowa to complete the expansion of the service. The addition of the three vessels built in 2006 will allow Maersk to offer greater frequency, capacity and reliability to U.S. flag customers on the MECL1 route.
Reinhart credited the leadership of MLL’s partners in labor, the U.S. Maritime Administration, the U.S. Transportation Command, and the U.S. Coast Guard for their support in making these investments and improvements a reality.
The new MECL1 service route will begin each week with port calls in Newark, Norfolk and Charleston before crossing the Atlantic. The first foreign port of call will be Cagliari, Italy, which will serve as a relay point for cargo out of Houston on the West Med service.
After Cagliari, the MECL1 will now call on Port Said, Egypt. This port was added to support customers previously served by the Eastern Mediterranean service route, which is being phased out. Relays to Alexandria, Egypt; Ismir, Turkey; and Haifa, Israel will be handled through APM Terminals’ operation at Port Said, helping to improve service levels to East Med destinations.
The route will complete its outbound route with calls in Salalah, Oman; Jebel Ali, UAE; Port Qasim, Pakistan; and Nhava Sheva, India. These stops are the same as the current MECL1 route.