Dutch shipping company Spliethoff will be introducing in early May a dedicated monthly liner service between Duluth and Antwerp. It will carry breakbulk, project and container cargoes between Europe and the largest U.S. port on the Great Lakes, offering short transit times of 20-25 days and reducing costs to regional shippers. The first vessel is slated to arrive on May 5.
“It will be a separate service from the Cleveland Europe Express service,” Joe Swartout, Spliethoff’s Vice President for the Great Lakes and Midwest, explained to Maritime Magazine.
Up till now, Spliethoff vessels have called at the Port of Duluth Superior on inducement as they have at other Great Lakes ports in the United States and Canada along with the Port of Valleyfield near Montreal.
“This liner service can be a significant supply chain advantage for our regional customers, reducing cost and supply chain delays, and it’s also a win for the environment,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority.
“Sailing those cargoes to and from Duluth – North America’s furthest-inland seaport – maximizes the waterborne leg of the journey, which significantly reduces carbon emissions and land-based congestion.”
Mr. Swartout indicated it was taking too long for containers to be shipped by rail from East and West Coast ports to the Midwest and through “congested” Chicago. The Cargo Connect service at Duluth was “very effective on the rail side of things” and the Port of Duluth offers another advantage of extra storage space for containers, he added.
(Photo courtesy of the Port of Duluth)