Sweden Gets its First Direct Container Service to the United States

Courtesy Port of Gothenburg

Published Mar 25, 2022 6:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sweden is set to increase trade with the U.S. with the implementation of a new MSC direct container service between the two countries.

Starting March 31, MSC will embark on the long-awaited direct connection between the port of Gothenburg and the U.S. in a weekly service that is expected to improve efficiency. The direct service that Sweden has been pushing for years will see the first call on the loop depart from the APM Terminals container terminal in the port of Gothenburg on March 31 and reach New York 11 days later. The loop will then continue through Philadelphia and Norfolk, after which the vessel will return to Scandinavia and the Baltics with American goods.

The first loop will be operated by the vessel MSC Cornelia, a 2010-built boxship sailing under the flag of Liberia. The ship has a capacity of 5,000 TEU.

“The new direct connection between the Baltic Sea and the east coast of the United States has been in great demand and is the only one on the market today. With the new service, we are also strengthening our offer through Gothenburg, which we are very positive about,” said Maria Sturgis, MSC Sweden Managing Director.

With trade between Sweden and the U.S. on the rise, the Scandinavian nation sees the new service as critical in enhancing the country’s competitiveness and strengthening the possibility of foreign direct investments.

The U.S. is the country’s third largest export market after Norway and Germany. In 2021, Sweden exports goods worth approximately $14 billion to the U.S., a 14 percent growth compared to 2020. The country’s imports from the U.S. stood at $550 million.

“The U.S. is Sweden's largest export market outside Europe, and also a growing one. This direct traffic is a very welcome addition that further strengthens the port of Gothenburg as the guarantor for Swedish industry’s access to the world,” said Claes Sundmark, Gothenburg Port Authority Vice President Sales & Marketing.