Maersk Line Ltd. has placed under U.S. flag the first of two multipurpose heavy-lift ships it will operate in partnership with Rickmers-Linie (America).
The 19,600-deadweight-ton Maersk Illinois can carry 65,517 square feet of cargo and has two cranes that can lift a combined 480 metric tons. The vessel is one of two sister ships that Maersk Line Ltd., the U.S.-flag unit of A.P. Moller, acquired in September for operation by Maersk-Rickmers US Flag Project Carrier.
The second of the ships, the Maersk Texas, also will be reflagged under the U.S. registry. The Maersk Illinois loaded its first US-flag shipment immediately after the reflagging was completed on Dec. 30 and sailed for Ghana with its new crew of U.S. mariners from American Maritime Officers and the Seafarers International Union.