Seafarers-contracted Maersk Line, Limited has issued the following news release. To access the company’s website, click HERE
Norfolk, Virginia, August 9, 2012 – Maersk Illinois, one of the newest vessels in Maersk Line, Limited’s (MLL) fleet, made her first homeport call last week in Norfolk, Virginia. MLL hosted ship tours and a private reception to commemorate its arrival with special guests from government and industry. The call in Norfolk affirmed the value of the Maersk-Rickmers heavy-lift service and brought together customers and constituents who rely on and support U.S. flag shipping.
Maersk Illinois was laden with a wide range of project cargo, some of which has been financed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. In May 2012, Congress reauthorized the Export-Import Bank’s charter to finance American exports and in doing so upheld U.S. cargo preference laws. The reauthorization helps maintain a stable business environment for capital investments, like the acquisition of Maersk Illinois and her sister ship, Maersk Texas. These investments created jobs on American soil, fostered healthy competition in ocean transportation, and strengthened the U.S. Merchant Marine – a key component of our national defense.
“We are pleased to showcase Maersk Illinois in her homeport of Norfolk,” said John Reinhart, president and CEO of Maersk Line, Limited. “The cargo loaded in Norfolk demonstrates the value of the vessel to the local and national economy, port and all the people engaged in the supply chain.”
Maersk Illinois and Maersk Texas are heavy-lift multipurpose vessels owned by MLL and operated in partnership with Rickmers-Linie (America). The two companies formed Maersk-Rickmers to provide commercial service to shippers of break-bulk and project cargo. Both ships can lift 480 metric tons and transport cargo such as diesel generators, wind turbine components, dump trucks, railway trains and other large pieces of equipment. Maersk-Rickmers competes in international markets and for U.S. flag-impelled cargo.
While in Norfolk, Maersk-Rickmers hosted a vessel tour and reception for guests from the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, U.S. Maritime Administration, National Science Foundation, the Virginia Port Authority, commercial customers, and maritime industry executives. Children from the Elizabeth River Project day camp, a local organization supported by MLL, also toured the 148 meter Maersk Illinois and met with the captain to learn first-hand about the operations of an oceangoing vessel.
The event was held at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, part of the Nauticus campus in downtown Norfolk. After the tour, the ship moved to Norfolk International Terminal, where cargo transported by Norfolk Southern was loaded. This intermodal rail-to-sea capability has made Virginia ports attractive to manufacturers and exporters.