Cagema offers direct Norfolk, Savannah calls
CMA CGM has reconfigured its Cagema service between the United States and the Caribbean and will offer direct service to Hampton Roads and Savannah as well as Miami, rather than transshipping cargo through Kingston, Jamaica.
'By strengthening the CAGEMA service, the CMA CGM Group can now offer its customers an optimum quality of service and unique port coverage between North America and the Caribbean region,' said Laurent Falgui're, vice-president of Caribbean and Latin America Lines for CMA CGM. 'Thanks to a strategic call at Rio Haina, it also guarantees new opportunities eastbound and westbound between America's East Coast and the expanding market in the Dominican Republic.'
The Virginia Port Authority said it expected Eclips, the first vessel in the reconfigured service, to arrive in Hampton Roads on Tuesday at the VPA’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal.
Russell Held, VPA's deputy director of development, said the cargo will include a lot of commodities and textiles.
“The textile cargo, we believe, will open up some business opportunities in North Carolina, which is home to many of the big mills and manufacturers,' he said. 'And, since Virginia is the first-in on this service, we're also seeing opportunities for our customers to capitalize on our expanding north-bound rail service to the Midwest. This trade lane holds a lot of promise for growth on a couple of levels.'
There will be three vessels in this weekly service, with an average size of about 1,100 TEUs. The rotation is Portsmouth, Savannah, Miami, Kingston in Jamaica, Rio Haina in the Dominican Republic, San Juan in Puerto Rico (though since CMA CGM is not a Jones Act carrier it cannot carry cargo between the U.S. mainland and the commonwealth), Philipsburg in Netherlands Antilles, Fort de France in Martinique, Castries in St. Lucia, Port of Spain in Trinidad, and Oranjestad in Aruba or Guamache in Venezuela on alternating voyages, before returning to Hampton Roads.
Held said the fact that Virginia would be would be a first-in call “provides a real service to our customers because it allows them to get their cargo on the shelves or manufacturing floor quicker — the down-time for transit is greatly reduced.'