Maersk opens direct Cork-Cuba shipping service
Irish firms get opportunity to boost business following easing of
Shipping giant Maersk Line has opened a direct service between Cork and
Cuba. The move will enable Irish companies to capitalise on an expected
boom resulting from the normalisation of relationships between the
United States and Havana.
The recent easing of economic sanctions against the Caribbean island by
President Barack Obama has led to a flurry of investment there by US
firms. Now Irish companies are getting the opportunity to increase
business with the Communist country with the introduction of the
service, which will call at Mariel, a port located about 40km from the
The service is an expansion of the shipping company’s existing CRX Latin
American route, which connects Mexico and Costa Rica directly with
Europe. That route, which was reintroduced in 2011, already calls at Cork.
The new port of Cork-Mariel route will boast the fastest transit times
in the market, connecting European exporters and importers to Maersk’s
network of feeder connections. These include a weekly service to the
island’s second biggest city, Santiago de Cuba.
Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, is expected to
announce full details of the expanded service in the coming days. Six
vessels with an average capacity of 2,545 20ft equivalent units are
expected to operate on the expanded route.
In the past few years, the containerised market in Cuba has been growing
at a pace of between 10 to 15 per cent a year. This is largely due to
the easing of sanctions, and large investments and modernisation
projects such as the refurbishing of the old Havana port and the
creation of a Special Economic Zone in Mariel.
Earlier this month, Maersk also launched a new service that connects
Dublin and Liverpool with the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Source: Maersk opens direct Cork-Cuba shipping service –