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Tampa gets first direct link with Asia

The fast changing scene on the North American eastern seaboard is welcoming another voyage debut with news of a first direct link to Asia for Florida’s Port of Tampa.

Cosco is adding Tampa to its Gulf of Mexico Express (GME) service.

The first vessel to load containers for Tampa in China will be the 4,253 teu Cosco Piraeus, starting its eastbound trip on 24 December in Shanghai and scheduled to arrive at Tampa on 28 January, according to the latest weekly report from Alphaliner.

The GME service is the smallest of the 18 all-water services linking Asia with the US east coast, and is the only service currently using just classic panamax ships of below 5,000 teu in capacity.

With increased shipments thanks to the enlarged Panama Canal, Tampa saw box throughput leap by more than half in the last fiscal year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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