American Feeder Lines has suspended its 9-month-old feeder service from Halifax to Portland, Maine, and Boston while the company undergoes restructuring.
New York-based AFL notified the port authorities of the three ports that the container service was being suspended this week, but gave no indication of when or if it might be resumed, according to Nicole Clegg, a spokeswoman for the Port of Portland.
The suspension comes a few weeks after the province of Nova Scotia on April 5 extended a $500,000 loan guarantee to AFL to support the weekly service.
AFL started the service last July with a chartered vessel called the AFL New England with a capacity of 700 20-foot-equivalent units.
The service was designed to fill the gap left when Iceland-based carrier Eimskip in 2008 ended a weekly container ship service to the three ports.
Although Columbia Coastal Transport also operated an on-again, off-again weekly container-on-barge service between Portland and Boston, that service was suspended several years ago, leaving Portland, the only U.S. container port north of Boston, without a regular container service.
Rudy Mack, AFL’s chief operating officer, told The Journal of Commerce in March the service was gaining volumes every month and that the carrier was looking at adding a second ship to the service.
Mack did not return phone calls seeking comment about the suspension.