Maersk Line to end operations at Charleston by 2010

The following is the text of a press release issued by Maersk Line:
(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Maersk Line has informed the South Carolina State’s Ports Authority (SCSPA) that we will leave Charleston and return our dedicated terminal at the port to the SCSPA no later than the 31 December 2010 when our current contract ends.

Additionally, Maersk Line informed the State Ports Authority that we would move one service, the South Atlantic Express (SAE), representing roughly 25% of Maersk Line’s total number of port calls in Charleston to other nearby ports in early 2009. The remainder of our services will be transitioned strategically over the next two years in very close coordination with our customers.

“Bearing the cost disadvantage between our situation in the Port of Charleston and that of our competitors in the common yard is unsustainable,” said Dana Magliola, spokesman for Maersk Line. “It would be unfair to our shareholders, customers and our employees to continue to operate in this environment.”

During this transition from Charleston to other nearby ports, Maersk Line will honour all contractual obligations and will strive to maintain the current positive relationship that we hold with all the stakeholders in the port as operations are transitioned to nearby ports.

“The South Carolina State Ports Authority offered us a workable solution that involved a move into the common yard, but we needed the consent of local ILA to accomplish the move,•bCrLf said Magliola. “The local ILA refused to consent, and so we are forced to move. By moving to other regional ports, we will once again be able to compete on a level playing field with other ocean carriers while continuing to provide excellent service to our customers.•bCrLf

By Professional Mariner Staff