July 2, 2012 / 10:21 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Maersk in US cargo deal worth up to $2.1 bln

(Adds contracts, companies, background)

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) - Maersk Line, a unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, has won a contract worth up to $2.1 billion for international shipping of U.S. military cargo, the Defense Department said on Mon day.

American President Lines Ltd, part of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Group, won the next-biggest such deal from the U.S. Transportation Command, valued at up to $1.7 billion, the Pentagon’s daily contract digest said.

Farrell Lines Inc is being awarded a similar potential $565 million deal, as is American Roll-on Roll-Off Carrier, a unit of closely held American Shipping & Logistics Group Inc, worth up to $553 million, the announcement said.

Smaller military cargo transport contracts were announced by the Pentagon for eight other U.S. flag shippers. All of the deals are expected to be wrapped up by the end of August next year, the Defense Department said.

The so-called universal service contracts, the seventh series of its kind, cover surface transport, chiefly by sea, though some may include onward ground shipping, said Cynthia Bauer, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

Reporting By Jim Wolf; Editing by Bernard Orr and Dan Grebler

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