Eimskip plans U.S./Canada coastwise service
Icelandic carrier Eimskip will start a new coastwise service between Canada and the United States nest month that will include calls in New York, Halifax, Boston and Portland, Maine.
Andrew Haines, executive vice president of liner services at Eimskip, said the new service aims not only at being a feeder vessel for deepsea services operated by Eimskip and other international shipping lines, but also a true short-sea shipping line moving freight between Canada and the United States.
Noting that Eimskip has an extensive short-sea network in Europe –boosted last year through the acquisition of major stakes in Finland’s Containerships Lithuania’s Kursia Linija — the company aims to become “the premier short-sea shipping line in the northern hemisphere,” he said.
While feeder cargo is likely to dominate initially, Haines said he also expects the company to move seafood and frozen fruit between Canada and the United States as well as other sorts of cargo, including project cargo.
The company will use a 712-TEU ship, the 'Westerkade,' to offer a weekly service. The ship will call at two terminals in Halifax Ceres on Thursday and Halterm terminal on Friday, then sail to Boston’s Conley terminal, where it will arrive on Monday and the APM terminal in Port Elizabeth, N.J. on Tuesday. The ship will then sail north and arrive in Portland on Wednesday, before returning to Halifax on Thursday.
The ship can maintain a speed of 17 knots and will have about 120 to 130 reefer plugs. Eimskip has a large fleet of high-cube 40-foot reefer boxes, and Haines said the plan is to keep a separate fleet of boxes that can be used by coastal shippers.
The call in Elizabeth is a return by Eimskip to the New York area. The line does have a service between Reykjavik and the United States and Canada, but the two ships in that service call at Richmond, Va., Boston, Halifax and Argentia, Newfoundland. The service also makes seasonal calls to St. Anthony in Newfoundland.
Haines said the company plans to eventually add other coastal services between the United States and Canada.