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Port of Boston Attracts New SE Asia Service

Port of Boston Attracts New SE Asia Service
ZIM Cargo Ship

ZIM will connect Boston to China and Vietnam, allowing New England businesses to further compete in the global marketplace

BOSTON – Investing in infrastructure upgrades and operational improvements at the Port of Boston is paying off for New England businesses as the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) has just finalized a deal with international shipping line ZIM to serve Boston on a new trade route that begins in Yantian, China and stops in Cai Mep, Vietnam. Massport has been in communication with various shipping lines to develop new trade routes to other countries in Asia. Being able to diversify among Asian ports is critical to businesses to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Many New England companies have been increasing their business with Vietnam for several years.

 “It’s great to see the efforts of Massport, Governors Baker’s office, and ZIM come together in a true public/private partnership to open this new service from the Port of Boston,” said Dan Kraft, President and CEO of International Forest Products. “A direct call from Boston to SE Asia is critical to International Forest Products’ (IFP) capitalizing on the emerging opportunities we see in that region.  This service is a welcome solution for our New England based exports and set against the backdrop of what has been a challenging 18 months in supply chain we’re very excited for this opportunity.” 

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., commonly known as ZIM, is the 10th largest ocean shipping line globally.  ZIM will deploy a bi-weekly service focused on connecting Southeast Asia with the Northeast United States, with the intent of delivering premium service for importers and exporters seeking direct connectivity to this region. The route connects South China and Vietnam to Baltimore, New York, and Boston via the Suez Canal. 

Vietnam is the 3rd largest containerized trading partner among the six New England states, behind China and India. Currently, Vietnam makes up approximately 7 percent of annual containerized freight bound to/from New England. Top commodities traded between Vietnam and New England include furniture, footwear, sporting equipment, apparel, seafood, recycled fibers and paper & pulp.

“The strategic investments in the Port of Boston made by the state and federal government continue to bear fruit,” Senator Nick Collins stated. “Three years ago, Governor Baker, Congressman Lynch and I hosted ZIM leadership and Israeli officials. We began conversations and the result is a Southeast Asian service calling on Conley Terminal from Israel.”

The multi-year effort to modernize and expand Conley Container Terminal brought three new low profile Neo-Panamax cranes from China. These cranes, along with a new berth and a deepened Boston Harbor, enable Boston to handle container ships holding 12,000-14,000 TEUs. Larger cranes were needed due to the shipping industry’s shift toward larger vessels that hold more containers and the 2016 expansion of the Panama Canal to accommodate them.

“We knew being ‘Big Ship Ready’ was essential to attracting new direct services to expand the global offerings for our customers throughout New England,” said Massport CEO Lisa Wieland.  “Developing new trade routes has been a top priority and we are proud to bring ZIM into the mix of shipping lines we serve. We are committed to support over 2,500 New England importers and exporters that rely on the Port, as well as the thousands of workers, and have significantly enhanced our capabilities to handle more cargo and increase our productivity so that Conley can be competitive in the future and allow for continued growth.”

Nearly $850M in investment has gone into New England’s only full-service container terminal in recent years to prepare Conley Terminal to be Big Ship Ready in order to support the regional economy. Significant support came from the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, the Baker-Polito Administration, and the Massachusetts Legislature. The Boston Harbor Dredging Project is nearing completion and a new 50-foot deep berth was built to support the new cranes and larger vessels. Additional improvements to modernize Conley Terminal have recently been completed or are in progress, including the creation of the dedicated Freight Haul Corridor for our trucking community, new rubber-tire gantry cranes, expanded container storage, and other landside improvements.

With the new cranes and berth, Boston is in a position to offer some relief to an already stressed industry, and allow more New England businesses to take advantage of the local service. Throughout these unprecedented times, the Port of Boston has been a reliable supply chain partner and Conley Terminal remains congestion-free while still offering personalized customer service. Conley currently has an average truck turnaround time of only 30 minutes while offering 18 possible start times for ocean carriers, along with 7 day berth and labor availability. 

Two services currently call Conley Terminal: The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) provides direct service from North Europe to Boston, with connections to Latin America, the Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia, and the OCEAN Alliance (COSCO Shipping, OOCL, Evergreen, CMA CGM) provides direct service from North Asia. A diverse mix of commodities are shipped through the Port, including furniture, recycled fibers, seafood, wine and spirits, apparel, footwear, and auto parts.

To learn more about Conley Container Terminal at the Port of Boston please go to


The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. For more information, please visit