The 2M Alliance - composed of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. - recently announced the launch of a new service, the “Lone Star Express,” between Asia and the United States Gulf and East Coasts which includes a weekly rotation at Port or Miami.
The Lone Star Express will start operations on May 2nd using container vessels with a capacity of approximately 4,500 – 5,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The string includes the ports of Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Busan, Cristobal, Houston, Mobile, Miami, Balboa, and Busan.
According to spokesmen, Miami has been steadily capturing new trade. It posted its strongest container traffic in a decade with a total of 1,007,800 TEUs during the 12 month period ending Sept. 30, 2015, an increase of 15 percent. Spokesmen add that Miami “was recently ranked among the fastest-growing seaports in the nation.”
In January alone cargo moves increased approximately 20 percent over January 2015.
Miami officials attribute this continued growth to the more than $1 billion of infrastructure investments made in port facilities. With the deepest shipping channel in the Southeast U.S. (-50/-52 ft), Miami is the only seaport south of Virginia capable of handling neo-Panamax vessels.
Miami also offers its users a fast access tunnel connecting the Port directly to the U.S. Interstate Highway System as well as the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) on-dock intermodal rail service, provides rapid turnaround time for the movement of both import and export goods while delivering a seamless network reaching 70% of the U.S. market within four days.
Datamyne a leading provider of web-based international market intelligence, finds that U.S. import volumes, measured in TEUs gives Miami an 11th place ranking among U.S. ports – just behind Seattle, but ahead of Baltimore.
Gerry Wang, chief executive of the container carrier leasing giant, Seaspan Corp., agrees that Miami is poised to capture more market once larger vessels are introduced into the schedule.
“Currently, Miami, Norfolk and Baltimore are the only Atlantic U.S. ports that are capable of handling larger ships, while others like New York/New Jersey, Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville still have harbor dredging work before mega-vessels are able to call there,” he says