Sea Lead launches new service with Virginia as first US East Coast call


Sea Lead Shipping has inaugurated its new AEC service which lists the Port of Virginia as the first US East Coast stop.

The Hakuna Matata containership recently docked at Norfolk International Terminals. As part of the service, the vessel then went began sailing to the Port of New York and New Jersey.

“It is a vote of confidence that Virginia is the first stop on this new service, which is operated by an experienced ocean carrier that doesn’t serve the US East Coast,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority.

“We were able to show Sea Lead the advantages of doing business here. This was an opportunity to emphasize our efficiency, our capacity, our growth, and strong customer service. The goal is to develop a long-term, collaborative relationship that reinforces this strategic decision.”

The monthly service will employ vessels with an average size of 6,500 TEU. Come July, it will increase to twice-a-month.

The full port rotation is as follows: Nansha (China) – Ningbo (China) – Qingdao (China) – Pusan (South Korea) – (Panama Canal transit), Virginia (US) – New York/New Jersey (US) – South Carolina (US) – Florida (US) – Nansha.

“As one of the fastest-growing ocean carriers of recent times, we are delighted to add Virginia to the port rotation of our AEC service as we offer additional options to our customers,” said Henry Schmidl, Managing Director of Sea Lead.

“We are confident that our customers and partners will respond well to the new options and look forward to working closely with The Port of Virginia in making this a success.”

According to the Port of Virginia, the addition of this service presents an important opportunity to introduce cargo owners and logistics companies already using the port to Nansha, an important port in southern China.

“Increasing the number of connections to new and growing ports and markets is an important selling point for us,” continued Edwards.

“Earlier this month we announced another brand-new vessel service that links Virginia with some very important Asian markets.

“When you couple these announcements with the fact that we are investing $1.3 billion to create more rail capacity, modernize and renovate two of our berths and convert them to an RMG operation and widen and deepen dredge our channels it’s hard to deny the long-term advantages the Port of Virginia presents.”

The Port of Virginia also recently announced it is looking to fulfil all of its operational electricity needs from clean-energy sources by 2024.

With this commitment, the port moves forward with its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040.

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