CMA CGM, Maersk announce new weekly service at Port of Seattle

The following is the text of a press release issued by the Port of Seattle:


(SEATTLE) — CMA CGM, a new shipping line for our region, will soon begin calling on the Pacific Northwest. A joint service between CMA CGM and Maersk Line will begin calling at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 18 in June. Seattle will be the first North American port of call, followed by Vancouver, British Columbia. The container ships will then call at a variety of Asian ports before returning to Seattle.

“More cargo means more jobs for the people of King County,†said Port of Seattle Commission President Bill Bryant. “Competition for cargo is tough – this is a big win for the Port and working families. The Port and Seattle’s maritime industry are excited to welcome two prominent leaders of the global shipping industry to our harbor.â€

Ships from the two lines will make weekly stops in Seattle. Fourteen vessels, each with a capacity of 6,500 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), will be deployed on the joint service.

“As the first stop from Asia, this new service is great news for increasing our cargo,†said Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani. “And as the ship departs, it will be filled with Washington products headed to markets across Asia.â€

Maersk and CMA CGM will use the dockside intermodal yard at Terminal 18 to move containers between ships and trains.

“Terminal 18 has a mile of deep water berths, the largest West Coast container terminal north of LA, as well as on-dock rail and ample capacity and daily service at neighboring intermodal yards less than a mile away,†said Jon Hemingway, CEO of SSA Terminals. “Maersk and CMA CGM recognize that Terminal 18 has unparalleled capacity to serve their customers, handle any class of vessel without congestion and deliver their intermodal cargo with the shortest rail transit times of any North American port for Midwest cargoes.â€

“Our people, with the support and teamwork of the Port of Seattle, worked hard to secure this business. The Port Commission’s action this week on its customer recovery and clean truck program will be good for everyone who works Seattle’s harbor and helped seal this deal,†Hemingway added. “We are especially pleased, as this business will mean more family wage jobs for our employees and Seattle.â€

Maersk Line, based in Denmark and CMA CGM, based in France, are among the world’s largest container lines.

“With the start of the Maersk Line and CMA CGM vessel sharing agreement, we are pleased to continue service to our customers and the entire Pacific Northwest through the Port of Seattle,†said Al Gebhardt, Senior Director of Liner Operations for Maersk Line in North America. “With this service, the world marketplace remains accessible to Washington and the region aboard Maersk Line vessels.â€

“The Pacific Northwest gateway is of strategic importance to CMA CGM,†said Frank J. Baragona, President of CMA CGM (America) LLC. “With weekly direct service to Seattle, we offer our customers the fastest inbound transit times from Hong Kong, Yantian, Shanghai, and Pusan. A Seattle call also offers greater flexibility in moving import cargo to our inland rail network, and westbound transit times for exports to Japan and the rest of Asia are also highly competitive.â€

“We’re very pleased to welcome Maersk and CMA CGM to Seattle,†Yoshitani said. “We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with both companies.â€

By Professional Mariner Staff