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  • 2015 March 21 19:27

    Crowley introduces new flat deck barge to Puerto Rico service

    Crowley Liner Services’ new flat-deck barge 455-4, which is capable of carrying up to 400 loads, is en route to Puerto Rico on its maiden voyage and is scheduled to arrive in San Juan on Monday with a full load of cargo for the island. The vessel’s deployment marks an important milestone in Crowley’s rapid response to the sudden departure of Horizon Lines from the Puerto Rico trade, the company said in its press release.

    Since mid December, Crowley has, through a number of service enhancements, created additional weekly cargo carrying capacity for about 780 loads – or 78 percent the 1,000 loads previously transported by Horizon Lines in an average week.

    “Before Horizon left the trade, we had, on average, about 230 empty container slots each week on Crowley vessels,” explained Jose “Pache” Ayala, Crowley vice president, Puerto Rico. “That space has been absorbed by customers. In mid-December, we structurally modified our barge layouts to optimize the stow factor, which generated enough new capacity for another 100 loads a week. Then on Jan. 15, we began running our vessels at an accelerated speed, which increased our frequency of service and weekly cargo capacity by another 250 loads. And most recently, we deployed the new flat-deck barge, which will arrive every other week in Puerto Rico – effectively increasing capacity by 200 loads per week. ”

    In addition to increasing weekly cargo carrying capacity, Crowley has ordered and begun placing into service more than 6,500 pieces of new cargo handling equipment, including 40-foot, 45-foot and 48-foot high cube containers, 20-foot ISO tanks and a variety of fixed and slider chassis.

    “We completely understand that there has been some stress on the island’s supply chain given the abrupt departure of Horizon Lines from the market,” said John Hourihan, Crowley senior vice president and general manager. “We have responded aggressively to replace the void they left, and are confident that current concerns will be short lived and that the island’s overall supply chain will be back to normal very soon.”

    As for the new barge 455-4 en route to San Juan, Crowley took great measures to ensure the vessel would accommodate the size and type of equipment most popular in the Puerto Rico trade.

    Crowley engaged its naval architecture and marine engineering firm, Jensen Maritime, to reconfigure 455-4, which was originally outfitted for heavy deck cargo transportation, to handle 20’, 40’, 45’ and 53’ containers.

    Crowley has been serving the Puerto Rico market since 1954, longer than any other carrier in the trade. The company, with nearly 200 Puerto Rico employees, is also the No. 1 ocean carrier between the island commonwealth and the U.S. mainland with more weekly sailings and more cargo carried annually than any other shipping line. Crowley is currently building two new LNG-powered container ships to be deployed in the trade in 2017.

    Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of the 123-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, is a privately held family and employee-owned company. The company provides project solutions, energy and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response through its TITAN Salvage subsidiary; vessel management; vessel construction and naval architecture through its Jensen Maritime subsidiary; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales.




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