In a sign of commitment to Cuba’s ongoing economic transformation, Denmark’s Maersk Line launched a direct Cork to Cuba container shipping service linking Northern Europe and Cuba.
The service will call at the Special Economic Zone in Mariel port, about 25 miles from Havana along with a weekly feeder service to Santiago de Cuba. The first port call in Mariel, Cuba took place on April 22nd.
Maersk’s new Cuba service is an expansion of the carrier’s existing CRX Latin American route that links Mexico and Costa Rica directly with Europe. The new Cuba service is the fastest transit time in the market.
“The launch of our first direct standalone service between Cuba and Northern Europe marks our dedication to helping our customers reach new markets, while continuing to enable trade and economic development. We are very pleased with this development which also reflects our commitment to the trade,” said Omar Shamsie, Maersk president of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The benefits of the new port call in Mariel, Cuba by Maersk Line will include:
- First direct service to Cuba with the fastest transit times in the market, connecting the main northern European ports to Mariel.
- Weekly feeder service that connects Havana to Santiago de Cuba.
- Cargo release at the port of Mariel, bringing customers closer to Mariel’s special economic zone and logistical facilities.
- Best in class reliability to ensure cargo arrives on time as expected.
- StarCare™, Maersk’s controlled atmosphere container, designed to enhance cargo quality and prolong shelf-life. It can carry bananas over longer distances for up to 45 days.
- My.maerskline.com, the online self-service tool that allows customers book shipments, track cargo, amend shipping instructions, and much more.
- Industry-leading CO2 performance, full transparency over supply chain impacts, and access to in-house experts ready to support customers company’s sustainability needs.
Maersk is expected to deploy six vessels with an average capacity of 2,545 TEU on the new Cork-Mariel route. The past few years have delivered respectable growth for Cuba’s container trade at 10-15% per year. Growth stems from restored relations with the US, the easing of sanctions and large projects such as the refurbishing of the old Havana port and the creation of a Special Economic Zone in Mariel.
“Maersk is confident that the new service will support the development of the Special Economic Zone of Mariel, which is set to be the main engine of growth for the country. Maersk is one of the first movers following the removal of economic sanctions and aims to be an active participant in the zone’s development,” the company said in a comment.