The world’s biggest shipping company, Maersk Line, and its affiliated shipping services, SeaLand and Safmarine, has agreed to continue to call at the Port of Houston after APM Terminals, a unit of Maersk Group, said it was permanently terminating its operations there, the Port of Houston Authority said Wednesday.
APM Terminals notified the Texas Workforce Commission on June 12 that it would shut down its Barbours Cut terminal in La Porte, Texas on July 24, about a month sooner than expected. The closure was expected to impact over 100 jobs.
According to Maersk Line, its current services that call the Port of Houston Authority’s terminals will remain unchanged and uninterrupted, the port authority said in a statement.
“We remain committed to serving all of our customers for whom the Port of Houston is a critical gateway to their supply chains,” said Timothy Simpson, who is head of Maersk’s Marketing and Communications division located in Florham Park, New Jersey. “The Port Authority is a valuable partner and we will work with them to ensure there are no service disruptions as a result of this change.”
The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority last month authorized the termination of a lease with Maersk Group and its affiliated companies, a mutually agreed move that was seen as beneficial to both parties, according to the Port of Houston Authority. The transition to termination is under way now, with the process expected to conclude in late July.
The Port Authority has had a lengthy landlord-tenant relationship with Maersk at its Barbours Cut container terminal, and the company is now free to call there or at the Port Authority’s Bayport container terminal as a common carrier, the port authority said.
The Port Authority is investing heavily in infrastructure at its container terminals and other facilities and will continue to deliver a high level of service to Maersk and every other carrier, noted Ricky Kunz, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Houston Authority.
“Our strong relationship with Maersk remains intact and we will continue to deliver high-caliber service to that carrier and all our customers,” Kunz said.