Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) completed the reflagging under US registry of Maersk Illinois, its newest multipurpose heavy-lift vessel. The ship is one of two sister vessels that MLL acquired in September 2011 and which will sail for Maersk-Rickmers US Flag Project Carrier (Maersk-Rickmers), providing breakbulk and project cargo service for shippers requiring US flag service. Maersk-Rickmers was jointly formed for this purpose by MLL and Rickmers-Linie (America).
"We are pleased to see this reflagging process completed, allowing us to introduce our modern ship and bring new value to the US flag project cargo market," said Dave Harriss, Director of Ship Management and Chartering at MLL. "We are now looking forward to bringing the second ships, Maersk Texas, under the US flag fleet as we continue to build the service."
Maersk Illinois completed its maiden voyage in Mobile, Alabama where its reflagging was performed. The 19,600 DWT ship is 148 meters long and can carry 20,000 cubic meters of cargo. With two onboard cargo cranes with a combined maximum lift of 480 metric tons, she is ideally suited for handling of a wide variety of heavy and bulky cargo such as generators, locomotives, wind and gas turbines, hazardous materials and more. The vessel will make port calls on inducement around the globe.
"As Maersk-Rickmers, we now offer a solution that will soon become the first choice for our clients," said Steve Garifalos, General Manager of Sales and Customer Service at Rickmers-Linie (America). "Expansion of the US flag multipurpose fleet benefits project businesses and those shippers needing heavy-lift service."
Maersk Illinois loaded its first US flag impelled cargo immediately after the reflagging was completed on December 30 and set sail for Ghana with its new crew of US mariners from American Maritime Officers and Seafarers International Union.
Maersk-Rickmers brings together MLL’s expertise in the operation and management of US flag vessels and Rickmers-Linie’s 175 years of experience handling project cargoes worldwide. The complementary capabilities create a reliable service that realizes the efficiencies US flag customers need to compete on a global basis.