American Feeder Lines, which suspended its 9-month-old feeder service from Halifax to Portland, Me. and Boston this week, is going out of business.
“We had to pull the plug because there was not enough volume on the service,” said Rudy Mack, chief operating officer of the New York-based carrier. “You need a certain cash flow to run this service. We don’t have it today. We won’t have it tomorrow.”
Mack said the German investors who had helped launch the company last year were no longer willing to subsidize the money-losing operation. “So we decided to close it. Otherwise it would be irresponsible to bleed money away without the hope to break even within the near future.”
AFL started the Halifax-Boston service last July with a chartered vessel called the AFL New England with a capacity of 700 20-foot-equivalent units.
The carrier had hoped to build up to 10 container ships in the U.S. and launch weekly short-sea services that would link up to 18 ports under the Jones Act.
“The short-sea, Jones Act idea has died,” Mack said. “If you can’t run a feeder service from Halifax to Boston and Portland, how will you be able to run other short-sea services?”
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Photo by Matt Wickenheiser/Bangor Daily News