On Saturday next, 6 June, the independent Container Lines (ICL) vessel, Independent Vision will dock at the Ringaskiddy Container Terminal in Cork Harbour and launch the Line’s weekly direct service from Cork to the USA. This cements the case for Cork to be described as Ireland’s Deep-Sea container service port.
Sailing each Saturday, the vessel’s first call will be at Chester, Pennsylvania’s Penn Terminal before sailing to Wilmington, North Carolina. Transit times will be respectively, 10 and 13 days, while on the eastbound voyage, via Antwerp and Southampton it will be 17 days from Chester and 15 days from Wilmington. The 3,000 TEU vessels operating the service will carry dry boxes, Reefer and project cargo, while the line will also offer a less than container-load service.
The ICL service has been in operation for 35 years and the through transit times to all USA locations would, for Irish shippers, be significantly quicker than those on routings that make use of feeder vessels to join the Ocean Vessel at a British or Continental port.
Maersk Lines has a Ringaskiddy call each Wednesday with a vessel of similar size and capacity to the ICL vessel. This call is on their Central America to Europe service that carries significant volumes of fresh fruit, mainly bananas. On Saturdays Grimaldi Line makes a call carrying cargo to and from West Africa and Mediterranean ports as well as ports in Northern Europe.
The commencement of the summer seasonal Brittany Ferries Cruise Ferry service linking Cork with Rosoff was deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the first sailing from Cork is now expected to take place on Saturday, 20 June. Howard Knott