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FormerlyPan-Atlantic Steamship Corporation
FounderMalcom McLean

Sea-Land (later known as Maersk SeaLand and SeaLand) was an American intra-regional container shipping company headquartered in Miramar, Florida with representation in 29 countries across the Americas. It offered ocean and intermodal services using container ships, trucks, and rail serving customers between North and South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.[1]


Sealand Michigan in May 2007

Sea-Land was founded by Malcom McLean as the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Corporation.[2] This process offered companies significant time and cost savings that facilitated distribution and expanded international trade.[3][4]

On April 26, 1956, McLean introduced the world's first container ship, Ideal-X, which sailed from Newark, New Jersey to Houston, Texas with 58 aluminum trailers (containers) on its deck.[3][4][5]

In April 1960, the company name was rebranded from Pan-Atlantic Steamship Corporation to Sea-Land.[6]

From 1967 to 1973, Sea-Land became notable for delivering 1,200 containers a month to the Indochina peninsula during the Vietnam War, resulting in $450 million in revenues from the United States Defense Department.[3][4][7]

From January 1969 to 1999, Sea-Land was owned by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, CSX and others.[8]

In March 1999, CSX separated Sea-Land into three entities: an international shipping company, a domestic shipping company, and a terminal operator.[2][9] In December 1999, Maersk acquired the international container shipping business.[2][10][11]

In 2000, Maersk Line changed its commercial name globally to Maersk SeaLand.[2] In 2003, the Carlisle Group bought the domestic shipping line from CSX and changed the name to Horizon Lines.[7]

In 2006, the commercial name SeaLand ceased to exist when Maersk SeaLand was rebranded as Maersk Line after the purchase of P&O Nedlloyd.[2]

In January 2014, due to the strong brand recognition throughout the intra-Americas region,[10] Maersk announced the revival of the SeaLand brand as a specialized intra-regional carrier, taking over the existing Maersk Line network for intra-Americas trade starting January 2015.[12][13] In January 2023, Maersk announced it would retire the brand.[11][14]


  1. ^ "Products". SeaLand. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Churchill, John. "SeaLand reborn with great expectations". Maersk. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Levinson, Marc (March 3, 2006). "The Box That Changed Asia and the World". Forbes. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Mercogliano, Salvatore (2017). Fourth Arm of Defense Sealift and Maritime Logistics in the Vietnam war (PDF). Naval History and Heritage Command. pp. 39–40. ISBN 9780945274964.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ "Transforming the Waterfront". National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. February 28, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  6. ^ Mall, Scott (2021-05-27). "FreightWaves Classics/Pioneers: Malcom McLean changed the freight world with intermodal containers". FreightWaves. Retrieved 2023-03-02.
  7. ^ a b "Return of the Sea-Land". Ships & Ports. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  8. ^ Levinson, Mark. "Chapter 11". The Box: How the Shipping Container made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger.
  9. ^ "History of Sea-Land, CSX Lines, and Horizon Lines Timeline". Horizon Lines.
  10. ^ a b Kimble, Jenifer (September 8, 2014). "SeaLand to re-enter Latin America trade". American Journal of Transportation (587). Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Maersk Dissolving Two Brands". Ships Monthly. April 2023. p. 16.
  12. ^ Tirschwell, Peter (January 8, 2014). "Maersk: Revival of SeaLand Means Container Shipping Now Two Industries". Journal of Commerce.
  13. ^ Gerckens, Kelsey (28 September 2016). "Port of Hueneme now exports and imports directly from Central America". KEYT. Archived from the original on 2016-11-03. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Sealand, Hamburg Sud names to disappear in broad Maersk rebranding". Journal of Commerce, 27 January 2023

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