Friday, November 3, 2017

US Shipping Line Adds FCL LCL and LOLO Services to Central American Routes

Links with Guatemala and Honduras Extended as Hurricane Aid Shipments Continue
Shipping News Feature
US – CENTRAL AMERICA – Crowley Maritime Corporation announced that it will begin offering weekly, fixed-day, full (FCL) and less than (LCL) container load shipping and logistics services between Wilmington, N.C., Guatemala and Honduras, effective with the northbound sailings on Tuesday, Nov 21 and Wednesday, Nov 22, respectively. The new lift-on/lift-off (LOLO) service is designed to give customers an additional, more northwardly Atlantic Coast destination for cargo entering the US from Central America, ultimately adding flexibility to the supply chain while reducing total landed costs.

The new additions to the company’s portfolio of services come as an extension to its Central American offerings after the announcement in August of new Costa Rica and Panamanian schedules. Steve Collar, senior vice president and general manager, international services at Crowley, said:

“We have served the cargo transportation needs of our customers shipping to and from Central America for more than 50 years. We continue to listen to their needs, then amend or expand our offerings appropriately.”

Crowley state that they believe that their new schedules will appeal to a wide section of customers with the Port of Wilmington strategically located on the East Coast of the United States within 700 miles of more than 70% of the US industrial base. Recent and ongoing improvements to regional and national highway networks in the area provide upgraded access to Interstates 95 and 40 and a daily train service is also available at the terminal for intermodal shipments.

Crowley has also retrofitted two of its heavy lift, flat-deck barges to provide additional capacity to customers shipping cargo between the US mainland and Puerto Rico. Crowley has now expanded its fleet from nine to 16 vessels, further increasing capacity to transport commercial and relief supplies to support the island’s recovery after Hurricane Maria in late September.

Since the storm, Crowley has offloaded 11,000 loads of commercial and government relief supplies, including more than 4,000 loads for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the company’s Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan. Thousands more loads are scheduled to be discharged, including more than 1,600 FEMA loads.

Even with the levels of cargo being transported by Crowley and other carriers, pick-up of containers continues to lag in the Port of San Juan, as does the return of empty containers to support the flow of supplies to store shelves and distribution centres. Crowley says it is working with government leaders and representatives of the food, retail and manufacturing industries to support the recovery of their business operations and supply chains, which remain negatively impacted by damage on the island. Jose ‘Pache’ Ayala, vice president, Crowley Puerto Rico Services, commented:

“The record capacity that we have added is sending valuable goods and supplies to the island – it all helps with the relief. As companies continue to return to normal pick-up levels for goods and supplies, we know the island’s recovery can continue to gain momentum. We have also added over 5,000 additional containers and hundreds of additional chassis to the Puerto Rico fleet to alleviate slower equipment turn times, our equipment control team has been working around the clock to identify any available equipment east of Chicago.”