The 2M Alliance, comprised of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., recently announced the launch of a new service, the "Lone Star Express," between Asia and the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts which includes a weekly rotation at PortMiami, according to The Miami Herald.
The Lone Star Express will start operations on May 2 using container vessels with a capacity of approximately 4,500 to 5,000 TEUs. (Each TEU is the equivalent of a 20-foot cargo container.) The string includes the ports of Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Busan, Cristobal, Houston, Mobile, Miami, Balboa, and Busan.
PortMiami has been steadily capturing new trade. It posted its strongest container traffic in a decade with a total of 1,007,800 TEUs during the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, an increase of 15 percent. Additionally, Miami was recently ranked among the fastest-growing seaports in the nation. In January alone cargo moves increased approximately 20 percent over January 2015.
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Editors Insight: PortMiami has planned $1 billion in capital infrastructure projects, including the recent deepening of the main harbor channel from 42 feet to 50 or 52 feet, making it the only logistics hub capable of handling fully-laden post-Panamax vessels, anticipating growth from the Panama Canal expansion. In the meantime, the improved capacity will also support Asia trade in addition to increased Cuba trade.
PortMiami is one of many U.S. ports that recognize the growing demand for U.S. food and beverage products, especially from Asia, where incomes are rising and people are acquiring a taste for American frozen, refrigerated and fresh food. 4-11-16 By Elliot Maras