Horizon containership sets sail after drydock at Brooklyn Navy Yard

The following is the text of a press release issued by Horizon Lines Inc.:
(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) — The HORIZON PRODUCER, a 720-foot ocean-going container shipping vessel departs on the East River today after drydock maintenance at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY). The PRODUCER, operated by America’s leading containership operator and integrated logistics company, Horizon Lines Inc. (NYSE: HRZ), is the first containership in drydock on a New York river in more than 15 years, when the last such vessel was serviced in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard, once known as America’s premier shipbuilding facility, was founded in 1801 and has a storied past. BNY workers over two centuries have built and serviced some of the most historic and innovative vessels for commercial and military use; continually repairing barges, tankers, bulk carriers and breakbulk vessels. Containerships represent the newest technology afloat and the workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard can certainly handle drydocking on these vessels.

“The Brooklyn Navy Yard was the ideal maintenance partner for the PRODUCER because of its location, proximity to the vessel’s Puerto Rico trade lane, cost and upstanding reputation,” said Joe Breglia, Vice President and General Manager of Ocean Transportation Services. The PRODUCER caught the current and sailed under the Brooklyn Bridge last month, bringing into view on the East River an important tool of globalization. “We realize the Horizon Producer is the first containership to be drydocked here in more than 15 years and we appreciate the potential and future opportunities this location may represent. Servicing an American ship in an American shipyard has always been our goal when possible,” Breglia said.

“Horizon Lines takes pride in operating the very real assets – ships, cranes, trucks and equipment – that are vital links in the U.S. economy. To see one of our vessels sail under the Brooklyn Bridge is a great reminder of our responsibility to the people we serve throughout the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico,” said John V. Keenan, President and Chief Operating Officer, Horizon Lines, LLC.

In drydocking, a ship is removed from the water so that work can be performed on the hull exterior below the waterline. While the vessel is idle, engine room maintenance and other interior tasks can also be performed. The entire process is labor-intensive. To prepare for the drydock, keel blocks are set into position. Lines are readied and used by men dockside to steady the vessel. A qualified dock master supervises the operation. Dock-based winches are usually used to position the ship in the dock – the most dangerous time occurring when support for the ship transfers from water buoyancy to drydock blocks.

Containerships, like all ships, go into drydock periodically – in most cases twice every five years – for required underwater surveys of the hull, hull components and propeller. The underwater portion of the hull is usually painted and all required repairs are completed. During this drydock period, the engines, turbines and boilers are shutdown for survey, repair and modernization as well. When done correctly, routine drydockings can significantly prolong the life and viability of a ship.

Despite the cold and wintery weather challenges over the past several weeks, the Brooklyn Navy Yard completed work on the PRODUCER in time for the vessel to cross New York Harbor into Port Elizabeth, N.J., to load cargo promptly for another run to Puerto Rico.

The PRODUCER is one of 35 Jones Act containerships in existence, 16 of which are in the Horizon Lines fleet. Jones Act carriers ply the domestic waterborne trades of the United States. Horizon Lines serves the Jones Act ocean routes to and from Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico and the ability to carry cargo coastwise in and out of U. S. origin and destination ports.

The Jones Act requires that all cargo sailing from one U.S. port to another U.S. port, either directly or via a foreign port, must sail on a vessel that is U.S. crewed, owned and built. For more than 200 years, the Jones Act and its predecessor statutes have served the U.S. and its citizens well, providing jobs for American seafarers and workers; safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible service for U.S. shippers.

Comment from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz

“The Brooklyn success story is in no small part due to the contributions of our waterfront and the men and women who have labored on its docks and along its shores. Brooklyn has been proud to serve as a temporary home for the Horizon Producer. I join all Brooklynites and New Yorkers in saying, bon voyage!”

About Horizon Lines

Horizon Lines, Inc. is the nation’s leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company comprised of two primary operating subsidiaries. Horizon Lines, LLC own or lease a fleet of 21 U.S.-flag containerships and 5 port terminals linking the continental United States with Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia and Puerto Rico. Horizon Logistics, LLC offers customized logistics solutions to shippers from a suite of transportation and distribution management services designed by Aero Logistics, information technology developed by Horizon Services Group and intermodal trucking and warehousing services provided by Sea-Logix. Horizon Lines, Inc. is based in Charlotte, NC, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HRZ.

By Professional Mariner Staff