The line inaugurated the new port call at Mariel, located 50 km from Havana, with the arrival of 2556 teu ER Cape Town, as part of its CRX – Southbound service between Northern Europe and Manzanillo, Panama.
The CRX service now connects Mariel with ports Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Ireland, as nations rush to take advantage of an economic boom in the wake of easing US sanctions. The move, in combination with regional infrastructure investments and modernisation projects such as the creation of the Special Economic Zone of Mariel, has contributed to a 10-15% yearly growth in Cuba’s the containerised market in recent years.
Six vessels averaging 2,545 teu are expected to operate on the expanded route, as well as a weekly feeder service further connecting to the southeastern port of Santiago.
“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.
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