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Alabama State Port Authority and APM Terminals jointly announce THE Alliance will launch in May of 2017, its AL 4 service network between the Port of Mobile and ports in Northern Europe.

THE Alliance, a vessel sharing agreement between five container ocean carriers – Hapag-Lloyd of Germany; Yang Ming of Taiwan; and Japan’s NYK Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and “K” Line – will provide vessel calls through APM Terminals Mobile. THE Alliance AL4 service rotation is as follows: Mobile – Southampton – Antwerp – Bremerhaven – Le Havre – Veracruz – Altamira – Houston – New Orleans – Mobile. With the addition of THE Alliance transatlantic service, Mobile is now served by the three largest global container carrier alliances.

APM Terminals Mobile opened in 2008 and had a record throughput of 277,307 TEUs in 2016. The AL4 will be the first weekly container vessel service to call in the Port of Mobile for each of the five ocean carriers of THE Alliance.

“We are extremely excited to welcome THE Alliance and its carriers to APM Terminals Mobile,” Brian Harold, managing director of APM Terminals Mobile. said. “The trade lane between North Europe and the US Gulf has been a good market for us, particularly over the past few years. It’s great to see THE Alliance take notice of that, and we’re looking forward to working with them as they grow in Mobile.”

Both the Alabama State Port Authority and APM Terminals have been investing in the Port of Mobile’s container intermodal facilities since the new post-Panamax container terminal opening in 2008. APM Terminals announced last year a $47.5 million, Phase 2 expansion at the container terminal to increase annual throughput capacity to 500,000 TEUs.

The terminal berths have a depth of 45 feet and two STS cranes capable of an 18-row reach. Under Phase II, APM Terminals is adding two new super-Post Panamax STS cranes with a 22 container-row reach, and expand the container yard by 20 acres by this June. The new cranes will be able to handle the largest container vessels in the world.

The Port of Mobile’s new lower harbor turning basin accommodates vessels of up to 1,300 feet in length that call at the container terminal. In addition, the Port Authority and APM Terminals collectively have recently invested over $55 million in a new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, which opened in June 2016 with the Canadian National/Illinois Central providing direct rail service to Memphis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Decatur, and Chicago, as well as Canadian locations.

James K. Lyons, chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority, also welcomed THE Alliance to the Port of Mobile.

“We’re extremely pleased to have THE Alliance call our port, and we appreciate their confidence in Mobile as an alternate gateway,” he said. “The service will provide more options and fast transit times into Europe, which will greatly benefit both our current and future shippers.”