Evergreen Line’s ItalLunare celebrated its maiden call to the Port of Boston with an official first call and plaque presentation on Wednesday, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced. This is the first time Evergreen Line has called Boston directly in nearly 30 years.
“The ItalLunare was bringing more than just cargo when she arrived at Conley Terminal this week,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “She was bringing new opportunities for the New England shipping community to do business with the world and to continue to generate billions of dollars in economic impact each year and support thousands of good-paying, blue collar jobs.”
Evergreen, the fourth largest container shipping line in the world by capacity, boasts its commitment to minimizing the impact of container shipping operations on marine life, port communities and worldwide. With this ship’s call, Evergreen can now service the New England market and consumers directly rather than having to go through the Port of New York/New Jersey. The ItalLunare has been added to the weekly AWE2 (NUE2) service between North Asia and the U.S. East Coast. This service, which is operated by the recently expanded CKYHE alliance, calls Qingdao, Shanghai, and Ningbo, China before crossing the Pacific Ocean, transiting the Panama Canal, and then calling the U.S. ports of New York, Boston, and Norfolk, Va.
“As we move forward with the dredging of Boston Harbor, we expect to continue to see new lines and new, bigger ships calling Boston,” said Massport Port Director Deborah Hadden. “New England is an important global market and the Port of Boston offers unparalleled access to this market as well as first-class service.”
In recent months, the Port of Boston’s Conley Terminal has seen steady growth in container volume. During the 12-month period between July, 2013 and June, 2014 Conley Terminal saw 13-percent growth on its Asia service (AWE2) and 6-percent growth overall. The number of containers handled per ship call on the AWE2 service also increased 15-percent during the same period. In addition to this growth, crane productivity and truck turn times – both key measures of container terminal performance – have steadily improved even as volumes have grown to their highest levels since 2007. “Our average gross crane productivity is up more than 15-percent compared to last year and we have consistently maintained average truck turn times between 30 and 32 minutes at our gate for the past 12 months,” said Hadden. “These numbers reflect our commitment to providing superior service and reliability to our customers.”
With the August 20 maiden call of the ItalLunare, Evergreen became the third major global container shipping line to call the Port of Boston directly from Asia. Hanjin Shipping’s Milano made its maiden call to Boston earlier this month and COSCO, the fifth largest container shipping line in the world by capacity, has been providing direct weekly service between Boston and Asiawith partners “K” Line, Yang Ming, and Hanjin since 2002. The world’s second largest container shipping line by capacity, MSC, operates two weekly services at the Port of Boston. One service runs to and from North Europe and the other runs to and from the Mediterranean with connecting service to the Middle East and South Asia.
Each year, more than 1.5 million metric tons of cargo passes through Massport’s terminals in the Port of Boston, which provide the shipping facilities New England needs to compete in the global economy.