The Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A. (MSC), one of the world's leading liner companies, plans next month to begin "double-calls" at the Port of Norfolk as part of its weekly Asia-U.S. sailing through the Suez Canal, the Virginia Port Authority, which operates the port, said today.
According to port officials, Geneva-based MSC will adjust its port rotation on the journey in order to call twice at Norfolk, the first time a shipping line has chosen the port for this type of service.
MSC's Golden Gate route currently uses the Suez Canal to link Hong Kong and China with New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, and Freeport in the Bahamas. However, under the adjusted port rotation, an MSC vessel will then return to Norfolk from Freeport, take on a full load there, and return to Asia via the Suez.
Joe Harris, a port spokesman, said Norfolk's 50-foot channel drafts, the deepest on the East Coast, were a key factor in MSC's decision to schedule a "double-call" at the Virginia port.