Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Freight Route for Europe from Caribbean and the US as Niche Reefer Container Service Commences

February Sees Change in Rotation and Fast Transit Times for Perishable Cargo
Shipping News Feature
UK – EUROPE – CARIBBEAN – CENTRAL AMERICA – US – As from February 2016 a new freight container service will commence from the London Container Terminal (LCT) at Tilbury linking Northern Europe to and from the Caribbean, Central America and Florida. The weekly rotation is the ‘Blue Stream’ service from niche reefer box carrier StreamLines, part of the Seatrade group. StreamLines operates in the Caribbean, with a strong focus on perishable cargo, and has launched this new service as part of its development plan. Pablo Gonzalez from StreamLines said:

“At StreamLines, we are extremely proud of this new venture we are stepping into, which is very much in line with the strategic view of the company and of the whole of the Seatrade Group. The company is going through an intensive investment programme, which includes the building of several container ships and for this reason, the new Blue Stream Service becomes a stepping stone to the future of the company. It is in that spirit too that we have decided to include a call to the Port of Tilbury, which we see as an important entry point for refrigerated cargo to the UK.”

The Blue Stream service will commence in January 2016 from North Europe and arrive for its inaugural call at Tilbury on the 12 February 2016. The rotation has been publicised as one of the fastest Caribbean links to the UK. Port rotation will initially be:

Rotterdam – Tilbury – Radicatel (Le Havre) – Fort de France – Pointe à Pitre – Philipsburg – Moin – Puerto Cortes – Santo Tomas de Castilla – Rotterdam – Tilbury

StreamLines claims that, subject to pending US regulatory approvals currently under process, the proposed Florida routing will offer the fastest service to the UK, with just 14 days into Tilbury, against 23 days offered today by the only direct service in the market. In continuation of what was the Seaban service, StreamLines have now added calls to the port of Fort de France in Martinique in the French West Indies, extending services beyond from its current offer to Pointe a Pitre in Guadeloupe and Philipsburg in Saint Martin. The transit time from Radicatel (Le Havre area) will be of 10, 11 and 12 days respectively.

With calls to Puerto Cortes in Honduras and Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala, and offering a transit time of just 14 days from Central America to Europe, and the only one direct to UK, the new service will potentially serve Central America to Florida in just 3 days transit time. Commenting on the introduction of the new UK call, Jamie Frater, Senior Asset Manager, London Container Terminal said:

“The new Blue Stream service is great news for LCT and a positive start to the New Year. It further strengthens our North / South service links, and builds on our existing relationship with StreamLine’s parent company Seatrade, who are already a reefer customer at LCT. StreamLines will benefit from our unrivalled logistical networks and have access to Europe’s largest chilled warehousing facilities at the container terminal operated by NFT, so close to London. Our location means that LCT is the ideal port for UK exporters and importers.”