The following is the text of a news release from Crowley Maritime Corp.:
(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Crowley Maritime Corp.’s liner services group announced today it will add a 400 FEU capacity, flat-deck barge to its South Atlantic Puerto Rico service in the first quarter, increasing the rotation between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan to four sailings each week. The company will also replace the existing 580-foot triple-deck barges with larger, recently modified 730-foot triple-deck barges in the North Atlantic-Puerto Rico trade between Pennsauken, N.J., and San Juan, increasing capacity by over 40 percent in that lane.
To support the increased capacity in both services, Crowley will add over 6,000 pieces of cargo-carrying equipment including a combination of dry and reefer containers and chassis.
“With the changes in the marketplace, we expect strong demand for space on our vessels, and we are stepping up to provide improved capacity, equipment and sailing frequency to benefit our customers,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico. “This service enhancement is another indication of our commitment to the people and businesses of Puerto Rico, whom we have been pleased to serve for over 60 years.”
Crowley will place the flat-deck barge into service on a two-week rotation once it has been outfitted for container carriage. When combined, the flat-deck barge along with the existing six triple-deck, roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) barges, ranging in size from 580 feet long to 730 feet and sailing on an accelerated schedule, will allow Crowley to offer four weekly southbound and northbound sailings per week between Jacksonville and San Juan.
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 containerships to be deployed in the trade in 2017.