First cargo shipped from Antwerp on new Spliethoff liner service to Port of Cleveland
In December 2013 Dutch ship management company Spliethoff and The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in Cleveland, Ohio struck a deal to start the first combined container and general cargo shipping route between Cleveland and Northern Europe. Now with the opening of the lakes the first shipment is underway to Cleveland.
The route dubbed the ‘Cleveland-Europe Express’ (CEE) has just opened for the season, slightly late in the year due to the cold winter conditions in North America. The Fortunagracht, one of the modern multipurpose vessels managed by Spliethoff, loaded its first containers and project cargo at the port of Antwerp for its 12 day journey arriving mid April. The route will take the vessel from the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks, canals and channels to the Port of Cleveland in the Great Lakes.
Through Bills of Lading are offered from door to door using Spliethoff’s rapid European logistics network between Antwerp and Russia, Finland, Baltic States, Poland, UK and Spain. In the US it is Spliethoff Cleveland that takes care of the onward connections to and from Cleveland and Midwestern America. Spliethoff will operate a year round service. Cargo will vary from containers, to project cargoes, yachts, windmill equipment, heavy lifts, break-bulk cargo, various steel cargoes and dry bulk.
The Spliethoff Group is one of the largest ship management companies in the Netherlands managing a fleet of over 100 multipurpose vessels. Spliethoff has vast experience with sailings to the Great Lakes and sees great potential in this new contract. The partnership will mean that more European businesses can reach Midwestern American markets and vice versa. The Dutch ice-classed ships that can sail through the seaway will operate a fast direct monthly scheduled service between Cleveland and Antwerp.
Port of Cleveland
The Port of Cleveland is a leading gateway on the Great Lakes. The agreement will be beneficial to businesses in giving them access to European markets and creating jobs. Many Ohio manufacturers truck and rail their products to East Coast ports to reach Europe, as not many ships were available in Cleveland. That's now going to change.
The port of Antwerp will function as one of the European hubs for the Cleveland-Europe Express securing onward transportation to the Baltic States and other European and inland connections. For this purpose Spliethoff has recently opened a dedicated Spliethoff Belgium office.
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