March 13, 2013

Portland's new cargo service set to deliver

With a shipping link to Europe and a railroad link to interior North America, the city is poised again for hub status.

By Tom Bell
Staff Writer

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A large crane will gear up at the International Marine Terminal in Portland in a few days as Icelandic Steamship Co. prepares to begin direct container service between Portland and Europe. The first Eimskip cargo-carrying ship is scheduled to arrive later this month.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Pan Am connects with the St. Lawrence & Atlantic at Danville Junction in Auburn and also with three other large freight railroads in New York state at interchanges near Albany. To the south, Pan Am reaches into southern Connecticut.

In Plainville, Conn., freight from the port of Portland will be taken off trains and put on trucks for delivery in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, said Chris Meyer, president of Meyer Enterprises LLC, which owns a 300,000-square-foot warehouse and a fleet of 17 trucks.

He said he expects to be transporting cargo bound for Iceland through Portland as well.

"It's Iceland. All they have is fish and water because it's melting," he said. "They don't have anything. Their needs are massive."

On Saturday, 18 managers from Eimskip operations around the world toured the port's facilities.

Olafur Hand, the company's marketing director, looked out over the harbor and remarked that Viking explorers who had settled Iceland had also landed in what is now Maine.

"We found this place one thousand years ago," he said. "And now we're back."

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at

Correction: This story was revised at 10:40 a.m., March 13, 2013, to state that Chris Meyer is president of Meyer Enterprises LLC in Plainville, Conn.

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Additional Photos

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Gylfi Sigfusson, second from left, president and CEO of Eimskip Logistic Services Inc., tours the International Marine Terminal in Portland along with 17 other Eimskip managers on Saturday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Portland’s International Marine Terminal has been upgraded to accommodate container shipping. The new cargo service to Europe could open up new markets for Maine farmers and food producers, particularly for seed potatoes and blueberries.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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