The Port of Cleveland and Spliethoff Group plan to add a second monthly vessel to the Cleveland-Europe Express.
The Port of Cleveland and Amsterdam-based ocean carrier Spliethoff Group plan to add a second monthly vessel to the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) service.
The CEE, which commenced in April with a single vessel, is the only scheduled container and breakbulk service operating between Europe and a Great Lakes port.
“We are extremely pleased to announce our intent to add a second sailing to the CEE starting next season, or perhaps sooner, to better accommodate the needs of the containerized segment of the market, which requires more frequent sailings,” said Will Friedman, chief executive officer of the Port of Cleveland, in a statement.
With two ships, the CEE will offer regularly scheduled departures every two weeks from both Antwerp and Cleveland. Containers for the service are handled at the Port of Cleveland’s Dock 22, a 15-acre site with capability of being expanded to 20 acres.
The Port of Cleveland has successfully marketed the service to Ohio-area shippers who want to avoid transporting all of their containerized and breakbulk shipments over land to East Coast ports on route to Europe.
Container services to the Great Lakes were attempted during the start of containerization in the 1960s, but none of them stuck and, thus, the liner carriers have long bypassed all-water service to the region, opting to move boxes to Ohio instead by truck and rail from East and West coast ports.
“We have established the CEE as a legitimate, cost-effective alternative for the breakbulk and heavy-lift market,” said Bart Peters, director of the Atlantic department at Spliethoff Group. “Now with the second ship, we can offer a very attractive option for container shippers. The advantages of an all-water service to the U.S. Midwest, combined with our transshipment connections in Antwerp throughout Europe and the world, make this a very powerful alternative”.
The Port of Cleveland and Spliethoff also announced a new stevedore for CEE when in Cleveland. C-Port Maritime, a sister operation to Valport, operator of the Port of Valleyfield on the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, is now the terminal operator for the CEE at the Port of Cleveland. “Valport has serviced our ships for many years at the Port of Valleyfield in Quebec, so they are an experienced and trusted stevedore,” Peters said.