Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 493

  Commentary MAINE’S ROLE IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC FUTURE Dana B. Eidsness With direct container service to North Atlantic destinations through the Port of Portland and bulk capacity through its ports in Eastport and Searsport, Maine is in a position to capitalize on emerging shipping lanes in the Arctic Sea, which could see the state become a hub of international trade in the Northeast U.S. The Maine Port Authority is preparing for this, putting port and rail improvements in place to facilitate increased throughput. Located in the Northeast, USA and bordering the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec with 5633 km of Atlantic coastline, Maine is well-positioned as a hub for North Atlantic shipping and supply chain activity - with comparable (ocean) shipping fees to domestic and European destinations. With the opening of the Northwest Passage, Maine will be able to offer effective shipping solutions to Canada, Europe and Asia through its ports. 2014 was a pivotal year in Maine’s development of North Atlantic relations. With the advent of Eimskip, Iceland’s largest shipping line moving its U.S. headquarters to Portland Maine in 2013 and the subsequent visit to Maine of The Honorable Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, the State opened the Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO) in 2014, to develop increased trade and investment activity between Maine and the North Atlantic Region and organized a number of events and outreach activities to launch this effort. Dana B. Eidsness is the Director of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office.