The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), one of the world's leading ocean vessel carriers, is expanding their weekly service to Boston. The Geneva-based steamship line will call Boston twice per week, doubling its vessel calls and providing relay service via Freeport, Bahamas to the East and West coasts of South America, South Africa, Australia, Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean for Boston and New England-based businesses.
MSC recently added ports in Italy and Spain to its weekly European service, providing local importers a direct inbound and outbound connection to the Mediterranean. This week, MSC will begin splitting this service so that two weekly vessels will call Boston, one direct from Northern Europe and one direct from the Mediterranean.
The European service will call Antwerp, Belgium, Bremerhaven, Germany and Le Havre, France with Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Tilbury, UK cargo relayed over Antwerp. The ships will sail from Le Havre to the US with Boston as the first port of call. From Boston, the ships will call New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk before returning to Antwerp.
The newly inaugurated Mediterranean service will call at Valencia, Spain; Naples, Italy; and La Spezia, Italy. The ships will sail from La Spezia to the U.S. with Boston as the first port of call. From Boston, the ships will call New York, Baltimore, Charleston and Savannah before calling at MSC's relay port in Freeport and returning to Valencia. From Freeport, cargo may be relayed to one of several MSC vessels making calls at ports in South America, South Africa, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean and Mexico.
"The new Mediterranean service is great news for importers and exporters in New England," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy. "Companies that currently ship cargo to South America, South Africa, Mexico Australia, and the Caribbean may now use the Port of Boston rather than moving their cargo to other ports. Businesses will save time and money, and reduced transportation costs will make New England products more competitive in the global market."
The revised North Europe service provides direct service between Boston and several European ports, further improving transit times. New England importers and exporters now have more choices for shipping cargo from Boston, while truckers, forwarders, brokers and NVOs now have more opportunity to experience terminal efficiencies in the Port of Boston.
The new service to Freeport is of particular interest to exporters who may now trade direct from Boston via all-water service to markets all over the world.
"Anytime you have a direct vessel calling a port, you create the potential to spur business," said Cindra Zambo, president of American Canadian Export Services (ACES), a Scituate-based freight forwarding company which represents exporters of forest products and leather. "This is good news for our shippers because it will reduce overland costs."
"We are extremely pleased with the new service opportunities that MSC will provide," said Alysia Sargent, Senior Logistics Specialist for International Forest Products. "We're also pleased to see that Massport is working to open new markets for shippers in the New England region."
International Forest Products exports waste paper worldwide from most major U.S. ports. From the Port of Boston, they ship approximately 6,000 containers per year.
The ability to ship directly into Boston from both Northern Europe and the Mediterranean is in high demand by Norwood-based importer, Martignetti Companies.
"This new service provides significant benefits for us because we import many wines from Italy and Spain in the Mediterranean as well as France and Germany in Northern Europe," said Steve Coval, Import Manager for the Martignetti Companies, which owns Carolina Wines, Gilman Wines and Classic Wines. "We ship in excess of 250 containers of wine from Europe and the Mediterranean per year. With a direct inbound service from both of these regions, we can better control our inventory and reap the benefits of faster transit times, giving us a competitive advantage."
"We are very pleased to hear about MSC's new service because we do a lot of business with the ski industry in Italy," said Joanne McDevitt, president of AIS International, Inc., a Boston-based logistics and customs broker. "By using this new service, we'll take advantage of better transit times while supporting the Port of Boston."
MSC has been calling the Port of Boston directly from ports in Europe for 16 years. Major imports to this region include furniture, household goods, specialty foods, wine and spirits. Major exports from New England include waste paper, hides and skins and beverages.