The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced a significant milestone in the fiercely competitive international ocean commerce and transportation industry. Massport and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) are celebrating a 20-year partnership that connects the Port of Boston to major ports around the world.
For two decades, MSC has provided uninterrupted containerized cargo services to New England's importers and exporters. MSC has been the Port of Boston's primary container carrier since 1986, and in the twenty year span, has grown to become the world's second largest container line.
This historic relationship has contributed to the economic vitality of Massachusetts and the entire New England region, providing jobs linked to international trade and competitive international transportation services. Since its first port of call to Boston in 1986, MSC has made 1,266 vessel calls, and has carried over 735,000 TEU (a shipping industry standard measurement of containers), carrying cargo weighing nearly 6 million tons. Today, more than 100 MSC ships call Boston each year, contributing more than $160 million annually in economic benefits to the six-state New England region. MSC's vessel calls in the Port of Boston help to support more than 4,000 people in Massachusetts who work in international trade and transportation and supporting industries.
"This longstanding and loyal partnership started with an unscheduled sales call, when a former deputy port director of sales was overseas on business. Since beginning service to the Port of Boston in 1986, MSC has offered our importers and exporters direct connections and fast, dependable, and cost effective service to the global marketplace," said Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., Massport's CEO & Executive Director.
"In addition to more weekly, direct cargo calls to the port, we would love to see one of MSC's beautiful cruise ships call Boston as a homeport," Kinton said. MSC operates a fleet of 8 new cruise ships, with four more under construction and on order. MSC Cruises offers itineraries in the Mediterranean all year round, in Northern Europe, Transatlantic, the Caribbean, South America and South Africa.
Mediterranean Shipping Company was founded in 1970 by Gianluigi Aponte and began calling in United States ports in 1985. The Port of Boston now benefits from two direct calls each week, as the first port-of-call inbound on MSC's weekly Mediterranean service, and the last port-of-call outbound on MSC's weekly service to North Europe.
"We have been serving the U.S. for only 21 years, and Boston was one of our first direct port calls. Since then, we have built a long and trusted relationship that has prospered through good and bad economic times," said Capt. Nicola Arena, chairman and CEO of the Mediterranean Shipping Company, USA. "We are delighted to celebrate this significant milestone of partnership and growth, and look forward to many more years of service."
There is a richly shared history of innovation, culture, and ingenuity that links New England to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. More and more importers are bringing in products from countries like Italy than ever before. "The "Made in Italy" label has found a good home in Boston, and, consciously or not, we embrace it every day. From kitchens to clothes, Italian goods have become synonymous with quality and superior craftsmanship," said Constance D'Agata Wark, president of Italtrade Partners of New England. "Thanks to demand and easy access through the Port of Boston, Italian style has flourished here, providing retailers, restaurateurs, and architects with high-quality goods and materials that are shipped through the port, such as Italian marble, granite and tiles that support (and grace) our public buildings."
MSC's import cargoes include: wine, gourmet food, cheeses, beer, athletic shoes and other footwear, manufactured goods, clothing, olive oil, pasta, and sporting goods. MSC's export cargoes include: lumber, paper, medical equipment, speakers, personal care and cosmetic products, cranberry products, leather hides, electronics, rubber, and beer.