Maersk partners Rickmers in U.S-flag breakbulk and project cargo service

maerskillmicroMaersk Line, Limited and Rickmers-Linie (America), Inc. have announced a partnership to provide breakbulk and project cargo shipping using two newly-built multi-purpose ships to be operated under the U.S. flag. The partnership brings together the complementary capabilities of the two companies to offer customers a new option for moving large and heavy cargoes worldwide.

Customers seeking heavy-lift multipurpose vessels under the U.S. flag will benefit from this partnership. The new 19,000 deadweight ton vessels, named Maersk Illinois and Maersk Texas, each have a combined maximum lift of 480 metric tons and are twice the size of U.S. flag multipurpose vessels currently in operation. The service will operate as Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project Carrier, Maersk-Rickmers for short.

"The Maersk-Rickmers service is designed for shippers needing U.S. flag service and seeking the advantageous economics of large multi-purpose vessels," said Dave Harriss, director of Ship Management and Chartering at Maersk Line, Limited. "As part of our market analysis, we heard from shippers who said they want greater flexibility from their carriers and the ability to support all their cargo requirements. We listened, and the Maersk-Rickmers service is designed with our customers in mind."

Rickmers-Linie is internationally recognized as a leader in ocean transportation of break-bulk, heavy-lift and project cargoes. Rickmers-Linie (America) is based in Houston, Texas and the headquarters of Rickmers-Linie is in Hamburg, Germany.

Part of the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group, Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) is an American company headquartered in Norfolk, Va., that provides U.S. flag transportation, ship management and maritime technical services to government and commercial customers.

"The introduction of these vessels further signals Maersk Line, Limited's long-term commitment to the U.S. flag," said John F. Reinhart, President and CEO of Maersk Line, Limited. "The partnership with Rickmers forms a strong team that will deliver outstanding service to shippers worldwide."

The ships are currently under the Marshall Islands flag and are preparing for their maiden voyages. In November, the vessels are scheduled to complete the process to bring them under the U.S. flag. As the shipowner, MLL is responsible for the reflagging, a process it has completed almost 40 times since 2005.

September 19, 2011

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