Freight News, Sea

US poised to restore Cuba ferries

[ May 6, 2015   //   ]

The US Government has lifted a ban on shipping services to Cuba and ferry services from Florida could be reintroduced for the first time in over 50 years, the BBC reports.

Services between the two countries were halted by the US trade embargo on Cuba in 1960 but, with the restoration of diplomatic ties in December, the ban has now lifted the ban and a number of ferry companies say they have been given licences, although there may still be bureaucratic and operational hurdles to overcome before services can restart.

These include United Americas Shipping Services in Miami – mainly a bulk and heavylift specialist – and Fort Lauderdale-based Havana Ferry Partners. The latter has set up a Cuba Ferry International subsidiary which says it will be using a new technology to transport passengers and cargo with wave-piercing vessels offering “ample” freight, passenger and baggage space. Its website also points out that, at present, travel to Cuba is limited to Cuban-Americans and licensed US citizens on expensive charter airlines which strictly limit luggage capacity.

Although direct shipping services between Europe and Cuba are already available, a transhipment service via Miami with higher frequency from Europe and potentially lower costs might appeal to many shippers.

Tags: , ,