New Service Calls Cuban Ports Mariel and Santiago Every 14 days
On September 20, the roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) vessel Caroline Russ berthed at the Cuban port of Mariel, completing the first regular commercial voyage between the United States and Cuba under the new relationship between the two countries which allow more commercial ties.
The voyage, which originated in Port Everglades, Florida, inaugurated a new service from the Florida-based SC Line which will call on the ports of Mariel and Santiago de Cuba every fourteen days on a route that also includes Panama and Colombia.
Port Everglades already has shipping service to Cuba from Crowley Maritime. The Jacksonville-based line has been authorized since 2001 to carry food, humanitarian supplies, and other approved items to the island.
SC Line handles ro/ro breakbulk, and containerized cargo, including refrigerated cargo, between the U.S. and Caribbean and Latin America ports.
Experts forecast the new U.S.-Cuba relationship, should the decades-old embargo be lifted, could increase U.S. exports to Cuba by $1 billion per year in the short term and that U.S. export revenue could reach $6 billion by 2020, representing 25 percent of Cuba’s total imports, up from 3 percent today.
“This new service offered by SC Line is proof of the successful efforts that both governments have been doing for the last months,” said the company, in a statement. “SC Line will be a strong and reliable partner for both countries with a main goal: to strengthen and enrich relations between Cuba and the United States of America.”
By Peter Buxbaum, Global Trade
September 28, 2015