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Maersk launching exclusive Montreal-Mediterranean service

2018-05-22

 

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Maersk Line announced the expansion of its product portfolio between Europe's Mediterranean region and Canada to cater for the growing demands of importers and exporters on both sides of the Atlantic. Starting in July, the Mediterranean-Montreal Express service which will also call at Halifax upgrades Maersk's transatlantic coverage amidst robust trade flows and positive spin-offs from last fall's free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.

"The exclusive, fully Maersk Line-operated weekly service will be a five-vessel rotation stopping in Salerno and La Spezia (Italy), Fos-sur-Mer (France), Algeciras (Spain), Montreal and Halifax (Canada), and Valencia (Spain)," the carrier said. "Other Mediterranean markets will also be conveniently connected to the new service thanks to our integrated transhipment services in Algeciras and Valencia, with consistent products to/from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

The Maersk-operated service will have its first sailing on July 2nd, departing from Salerno, Italy, and arriving in Montreal on July 19th.

Jack Mahoney, President of Maersk Line Canada commented: "With one agreement in effect to fuel Canadian imports and exports in the Atlantic and another one in the works for the Pacific, this represents only favourable wind behind the expansion of our services in Canada and enable our customers to reach new markets in Europe and Asia."

 

Last year, Canadian imports and exports grew 6.9%, a barometer of economic health and prosperity for the country. For 2018, Maersk forecasts a growth of 7% in maritime container volume with CETA and CPTPP accords expected to further support this development in both transatlantic and transpacific trades. In addition, Maersk expects to see another year of healthy growth for Middle East, India, Pakistan, and Far East imports which grew above 9% in 2017 to Canada's East Coast.

Based on feedback from customers, and its geographic location, Montreal was a natural choice for Maersk Line as a strategic gateway for this service. The Port of Montreal is well positioned to serve consumers in the provinces of Ontario and Québec where two thirds of the Canadian population reside. "The Port of Montreal serves these two regions via rail and trucking service for this large market, where 49% of discharged cargo go to Québec and further 29% to Ontario. The port, therefore, plays a key role in boosting Canadian trade and is a perfect match for importers and exporters looking for better transportation solutions with Canada," mentioned Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority.

The new service will call at Montreal's Cast terminal, operated by MGT, which offers easy access to rail and trucking options.

On an eastbound call in Halifax, the service will cater to an important Canadian perishable market and facilitate refrigerated shipments of foodstuff traditionally exported from the Canadian Maritime Provinces. (Photo APM)

 
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