March 26 - Sea Star Line, which describes itself as a "lift-on carrier for out-of-gauge cargoes" and operates container/ro-ro ships between Jacksonville, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region, will add a weekly call at Philadelphia in April.

Sea Star's multipurpose ship design was built to accommodate ro-ro freight as well as out-of-gauge non-containerised cargo, says the line.

The presence of heavy lift cranes and ample space in Philadelphia was a key attraction for the line, one of four carriers operating between the US mainland and Puerto Rico.

John Estey, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) chairman has welcomed the line's decision to call at PRPA's Tioga marine terminal, operated by Delaware River Stevedores, in northeast Philadelphia beginning in April.

Sea Star Line will initiate a weekly ship call beginning on Friday, April 23, and expects to bring a ship to Philadelphia every Friday after that.

Estey says: "This is great news for the Port of Philadelphia and for one of our most efficient terminals. The terminal has two container cranes, a mobile harbour crane, an experienced labour force, and so many other attributes. It's a great fit for Sea Star Line."