Crowley Moves Containers of Relief Cargo to Caribbean following Hurricane Maria

Crowley Maritime Corp., a long-time TMSA member, has established a flow of relief cargo into San Juan, Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria - the devastating Category 4 storm that made direct impact with the island last Wednesday. To make this possible, Crowley has four vessels loaded with a mix of relief and commercial cargo currently en route to the company’s Isla Grande terminal in San Juan, with two more scheduled to follow. These six vessels will begin entering the harbor as soon as the U.S. Coast Guard deems it is safe to do so, which some reports indicate may be as early as tomorrow morning. In total, these six vessels will bring in more than 2,200 full container loads of food and aid cargo, as well as commercial goods, to Puerto Rico.

In addition to these incoming barge loads, the company currently has more than 2,200 full container loads of food and aid cargo, as well as commercial goods, safely stored and awaiting distribution at its terminal now.

“Our focus and priority continues to be on the safety and health of our employees and the recovery efforts for all the families of Puerto Rico,” says Crowley’s John Hourihan, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Puerto Rico Services. “While our schedule of operations is contingent on the U.S. Coast Guard giving us the ‘all clear’ in the harbor to safely operate, we are working with the local authorities to resume operations, as well as with Hacienda to facilitate the efficient and timely release of food and aid cargo.”

“A key component to reopening the supply chain will be the availability of truck power to move the loads to their inland destinations and the ability of our customers to receive cargo,” Hourihan says. “With so much damage to infrastructure and facilities, this will be a challenge, but we remain optimistic about the resiliency of the people of Puerto Rico and their desire to do whatever is necessary to recover as quickly as possible.”

However, according to the WSJ Logistics Report this week, some companies say the biggest hurdles to delivering goods are the severely damaged infrastructure and tight fuel supplies on the island. According to Crowley, there is a steady pipeline of goods arriving at San Juan’s port, yet hundreds of shipping containers have been piling up because trucks can’t carry them to inland points. More cargo ships are arriving in the coming days, along with tankers with desperately needed fuel, shipments that will raise the pressure to clear distribution channels on the island. Crowley, which has about 300 Puerto Rico employees, has served the Puerto Rico market since 1954, longer than any other Jones Act carrier in the trade. 

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