March 20 - According to a brief statement on the company's website, the Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project Carrier joint venture is being discontinued.

The joint venture was formed by Maersk Line, Limited and Rickmers-Linie (Americas) in September 2011 to provide breakbulk and project cargo shipping using two newly-built multi-purpose ships operating under the US-flag.

The fate of of the two 19,000 dwt vessels, named Maersk Illinois and Maersk Texas, which each have a combined maximum lift of 480 tonnes and are said by Maersk-Rickmers to be twice the size of other US-flag multipurpose vessels in operation, is unknown at present.

Further news to follow.