Maersk Line Limited, the US arm of Denmark’s A. P. Moller-Maersk Group, and Rickmers-Linie (America), the US arm of Germany’s Rickmers-Linie, have joined forces to create a new heavylift breakbulk and project cargo shipping company known as ‘Maersk-Rickmers US Flag Project Carrier’, or Maersk-Rickmers for short. The joint venture has been formed to provide US customers with heavy-lift breakbulk and project cargo services using two newly-built multi-purpose ships, the 19,500dwt Maersk Illinois and Maersk Texas, which have been completed in China, but will operate under the US flag. Each of the vessels has a combined maximum lift of 480 tonnes using twin Liebherr cranes and a hold capacity of 20,000m3, while up to 964TEU of containers can be carried, including 50 reefer boxes. The 148m by 23.4m ships have a service speed of 16 knots. JS

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