World Direct Shipping, Palmetto, Fla., announced plans to begin weekly sailings between the Port of Pensacola and the Port of Coatzacoalcos in Mexico’s state of Veracruz. A second port in the northern region of Mexico’s Gulf Coast will be added to the rotation shortly. The first sailing from Coatzacoalcos is scheduled to arrive in Pensacola on Feb. 1.

“We are excited about our addition of Pensacola. With Pensacola and Port Manatee, World Direct Shipping enhances its service network between Mexico and the Southeast United States. Pensacola will be a great complement to our current Port Manatee operations. Most importantly, we will be providing shippers between the U.S. and Mexico additional flexibility in meeting their shipping needs with our proven track record of speed, reliability and personalized care to customers,” says Carlos Diaz, director of World Direct Shipping. “It’s exciting to have this opportunity to open another ocean route between Florida and Mexico.”

Calling two ports in the state of Veracruz gives World Direct Shipping access to Mexico City’s market and industrial areas, which provide more opportunities for more exports through Port of Pensacola from the Southeast U.S. market.

“We are incredibly excited about this new service,” says Amy Miller, Pensacola port director. “Breaking into the container markets is a big deal for a smaller port like Pensacola. While large-scale container operations may be out of reach for us, we’ve always known that there were smaller, niche container markets out there that made sense. Since first becoming acquainted with World Direct Shipping nearly a year ago, port staff, our local stevedoring company Pate Stevedores and the great folks at World Direct Shipping have worked hard to put together a quality service that we’re confident will grow and thrive here.”

The service will be supported by two vessels—the M/V Queen B, a 435-foot-long vessel that delivers the capacity for 657, 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and is owned and operated by World Direct Shipping, and a chartered vessel, which is similar sized and will be included in the rotation until World Direct Shipping takes delivery of their second owned vessel in the fourth quarter of 2018.