Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crowley Restructure Freight Services And Test Container Scanning

Post Earthquake Repairs Permit Revived Timetable
Shipping News Feature

US – HAITI- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – PUERTO RICO – Florida based Crowley Maritime Corp announced this week that it is to reinstate the twice weekly container freight service by renewing its second fixed-day sailing to Port-au-Prince from Rio Haina and Port Everglades, with immediate effect, to better meet the needs of customers shipping to Haiti from the Dominican Republic and South Florida.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Crowley reduced its twice-weekly service to Haiti to a single port call on Mondays due to infrastructure damage and resulting deterioration in the port's service capabilities. Now that the infrastructure has been repaired and those capabilities have been restored, customers once again will have the valuable option of having cargo delivered to Haiti from the Dominican Republic or South Florida on Fridays in addition to Mondays - an advantage that allows shipments to arrive in stores when they are most needed.

The re-establishment of this sailing also makes Crowley the only carrier with twice weekly shipments directly from the Dominican Republic to Haiti. This advantage will benefit the many Dominican Republic businesses that deliver products to support Haiti's growing market and reconstruction efforts by providing a safe and reliable alternative to trucking products across the countries' borders. With two Lift-on/Lift-off (LoLo) container ships and a broad range of equipment, Crowley believe it is equipped to meet the various needs of the regions diverse markets. The additional sailing to Haiti is aptly timed with the start of the country's annual mango season. Last year, Crowley shipped nearly 400 loads of mangoes during the peak season.

Tony Otero, Crowley’s vice president for Dominican Republic/Haiti and Cuba liner services said:

“Though the country still has a long way to go in terms of recovery since the earthquake, business is improving. Mango growers are predicting another successful season and shipments from the Dominican Republic are on the rise. Haiti continues to be a key market for Crowley. We are very proud of our early role in helping to restore ocean-freight service to Haiti so soon after the earthquake. Now we are committed to delivering a first-class twice-weekly service again for our customers as the market continues to recover."

The new schedule calls for a vessel to depart Port Everglades for arrival in the Dominican Republic. From the Dominican Republic, the vessel will arrive in Haiti, and the final stop is in Port Everglades, where the rotation begins again.

Meanwhile the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA) and Crowley Puerto Rico Services Inc. yesterday announced plans to allow limited testing of container cargo inspection scanning operations beginning today at the Crowley marine terminal facility in San Juan. Crowley says it will work very closely with the PRPA over the next two weeks to make sure that it is business as usual and that customers are not impacted by this essential test.

As part of PRPA's master plan under Law 12, it will construct and operate several inspection stations at various cargo terminals at the Port of San Juan, each having the capacity to scan all the cargo containers arriving at Puerto Rico from the United States without affecting the flow of traffic. Both parties stressed that the testing program would not delay or affect the release and delivery of cargo to customers in Puerto Rico, and that no charges would be assessed in connection with the testing program until a regulation becomes effective.

PRPA and Crowley met last week to review a mutually acceptable process and set of procedures whereby the impact, if any, to Crowley's clients would be avoided or eliminated. PRPA and Crowley have entered into an understanding that will ensure that there will be no delays to cargo being delivered from the Isla Grande Facility.