A ZIM source said the service will originate in the Mediterranean, and the first vessel call into Halifax will be June 28. Although ZIM is keeping a tight lid on details of the new service, the line is expected to use 4,500-TEU vessels on the service.

“ZIM constantly reviews its line structure and routes in order to improve its services and intends to further develop the services offered to our customers,” Shats Avner, ZIM’s Public Relations Manager, said in an email. “We are currently exploring some alternatives to improve our services at Halifax and to add a second call to the one we already have,” he said.

Kevin Piper, President of ILA Local 269, said the union is “ecstatic. Zim is the longest-serving customer here in Halifax and it continues to be a major stakeholder here so we are very happy that it is bringing more business.”

About a year ago ZIM cut its Halifax calls from 104 a year to 52 when it realigned a pendulum service creating two separate strings, ZCS Pacific and ZCS Atlantic. Halifax was included in the Pacific service but, although ZIM reduced the number of calls, it increased its cargo allocation for Halifax on the Pacific service.

ZIM calls at the port’s South End Container Terminal operated by Halterm. The terminal operator has announced that it has ordered two super post-Panamax cranes at a cost of approximately $20 million. The cranes, which will be able to reach 22 containers wide, will be manufactured by ZPMG of China and are expected to be operational in Q3, 2013.