Port Tampa Bay Welcomes New Asia Container Service

- Port Tampa Bay is pleased to share the news that three leading global container shipping companies – ZIM, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Maersk have announced they will launch a new joint direct service from Asia to the US Gulf to include weekly calls at Port Tampa Bay. 

The new service will deploy 10 ships of 4500 TEU capacity on the following rotation: Xiamen – Yantian – Busan– (Panama Canal transit) – Houston – Mobile – Tampa – Manzanillo – (Panama Canal transit) – Balboa – Busan.   The first sailing will depart Xiamen on August 16, 2019.

Headquartered in Haifa, Israel, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is one of the leading carriers in the global container shipping industry and has been serving Port Tampa Bay since 2003 with its Caribbean Gulf Express (CGX) feeder service.  With its head office in Geneva, Switzerland, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has been calling Tampa as a partner with ZIM on the CGX service since 2009.  Maersk is part of AP Moller-Maersk, an integrated container logistics company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, serving 343 ports in 121 countries around the world.  Maersk and MSC are partners in the 2M Alliance, and are the world’s top two container shipping companies based on capacity.  This will be Maersk’s first service to call Port Tampa Bay.

Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson said, “This is great news from our longstanding carrier ZIM and their partners MSC and Maersk. We are confident this new service will be very well received by Florida importers and exporters with its competitive transit times to/from Asia and connections to other markets across the globe.”

Port Tampa Bay is the closest port to Florida’s fastest growing region and its largest consumer market – the Tampa Bay/Orlando I-4 Corridor. As trucking costs have increased, Port Tampa Bay’s location is recognized as offering the lowest delivery cost solution for exporters and importers.  Home to almost half the state’s population of more than 21 million residents and welcoming a majority of the 126 million tourists who visit Florida every year, the I-4 Corridor has the largest concentration of distribution centers in the state.  From this central location in the middle of the Florida peninsula, importers and exporters achieve significant savings in their truck delivery costs to serve the entire state, as well as reaching into markets throughout the Southeast and beyond.  For companies involved in retail distribution, e-commerce, food and beverage, and manufacturing, the demands for same-day service, tighter delivery windows and shorter lead times are driving this shift in supply chain strategy.  Ongoing pressures on trucking caused by driver shortages, hours of service, ELD mandate and rising fuel costs, continue to enhance Port Tampa Bay’s preferred location and proximity to Florida’s largest consumer market. 

Together with container terminal operator partner Ports America, Port Tampa Bay is continuing to expand and upgrade facilities, having recently added two new post-Panamax cranes to complement its existing three gantry cranes and have a phased build-out plan to quadruple capacity over the next few years as business continues to grow. 

President & CEO of Ports America Mark Montgomery said, “We are delighted to partner with Port Tampa Bay in welcoming the new ZIM/2M service. Together with the Port we are aggressively expanding to ensure we continue to stay ahead of the curve and provide very efficient service to our customers.”