ARC expands Mideast service with Endurance
American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier expanded its U.S. East and Gulf coasts/Middle East service with the addition of its U.S.-flag ro/ro vessel Endurance.
ARC officially christened the Endurance in the Port of Baltimore on Friday.
The Middle East liner service now comprises five vessels on a 14-day frequency with 1 million square feet of standalone cargo capacity and more than 10 million square feet of cargo capacity on an annualized round-trip basis.
The vessels in this service make calls along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts and transit the Mediterranean Sea en route to the Middle East and South Asia. Regular ports of call in the region include Alexandria, Jeddah, Ash Shuaybah, Umm Qasr, Karachi and Mumbai, with other ports served on an inducement basis, the New Jersey-based carrier said.
The Endurance, formerly Taronga, was delivered by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in December 1996 and is among the largest ro/ro vessels in the world at 860 feet in length. The vessel has nine decks the can be configured to carry more than 260,000 square feet of high and heavy cargo. Its quarter ramp weight capacity of 320 tons exceeds that of any vessel in the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, the company said.
|American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier's Endurance|
The Endurance also replaces ARC's ro/ro Liberty in the U.S. government's Maritime Security Program. The Liberty, which is on charter to the Military Sealift Command, will remain under U.S.-flag. ARC is the largest U.S.-flag ro/ro vessel operator in MSP.
In addition to the Middle East service, ARC operates a three-ship liner service between the U.S. East Coast and North Europe and the United Kingdom.
ARC was founded in 1990 and is operated today as U.S.-flag joint venture investment by Wallenius Lines of Stockholm and Wilhelmsen Lines of Oslo.
'With their backing, ARC has now invested $500 million in U.S.-flag shipping,' said Raymond P. Ebeling, president of ARC, in a speech during the Endurance's christening. 'Wallenius and Wilhelmsen are pleased with their investment, fully cognizant of their responsibilities as investors in this strategic U.S. company, and committed, as well, to future investment.' ' Chris Gillis