Bruce Fenimore, president & CEO of Columbia Group announced that Columbia Coastal Transport has launched a bi-weekly container barge service linking the ports of Portland, Maine and the Port of New York/New Jersey effective August 19, 2007. This expansion of the company’s Northern Service not only enables steamship lines to offer through bills of lading to and from Portland, and will give northern New England importers and exporters a ‘greener’ alternative to move multiple containers in either direction.

‘Our reliable container barge service has proven its value the past 17 years,’ said Bruce Fenimore, president and CEO of Columbia Coastal Transport. ‘We offer a cost-effective all-water mode of transportation that helps reduce emissions and congestion on major highways in each region we serve. By offering this service to importers and exporters directly, we can help them achieve their goals to ‘go green’ and at the same time receive the quality service, logistics support and cargo management we offer each client we serve.’

Columbia Coastal Transport is the premier full container barge feeder service operating on the Atlantic Coast as well as Freeport, Bahamas and Cuba on inducement. The company employs experienced marine and logistics professionals that handle all of the details required to manage shipments through to delivery, whether port-to-port or warehouse-to-warehouse.

‘We believe that key importers and exporters in Northern Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and southern Canada will benefit from Columbia Coastal’s all-water alternative for freight movement,’ said Kevin Mack, vice president Business Development at Columbia. ‘This new service presents a great opportunity for shippers to avoid terminal congestion, over-the-road weight restrictions and the shortage of truck power that often impedes cargo flow.’

As the leading experts in Short Sea Shipping, Columbia Coastal continues to expand its service offerings to give shippers a viable alternative to road and rail transport, one that supports both governmental and industry requirements for environmental protection requirements.

The company plans to utilize the COLUMBIA BALTIMORE, a 690-TEU barge that will call in Portland, Maine on Sunday, August 19 and will arrive in the Port of NY/NJ just two days later, on August 21st. The service will run bi-weekly at first, with the option of increasing frequency as it gains further support.

‘Our container barge service has already proven to an effective and economical way to move freight between US ports for the carriers we serve,’ Mack continued, ‘and we are pleased to be able to offer this same opportunity to large volume importers and exporters in the northern New England region.’

Columbia Coastal Transport operates a fleet of ten container barges in regularly scheduled services linking eight ports on the US Atlantic seaboard, and serves Freeport and Cuba on demand. The company’s modern barges accommodate twenty, forty and forty-five foot containers, including refrigerated units, and range in capacities from 450 to 912-teus.

Based in Liberty Corner, NJ, Columbia Coastal has been offering reliable container barge services as a partner to international cargo steamship operators since 1990. The Columbia Group of Companies provides full logistics, trucking, container and chassis repair, chassis pools, and warehousing capabilities to complement carrier operations. Complete project cargo and government/military cargo services are also available.