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Domestic maritime industry delivers to Puerto Rico while inland infrastructure remains biggest hurdle

The following article was released September 27 by the American Maritime Partnership, a coalition of which American Maritime Officers Service is a member and which American Maritime Officers supports.

WASHINGTON - In the wake of Hurricane Maria, the American Maritime Partnership - the voice of the domestic maritime industry - today issued the following statement regarding the capacity and capability of Jones Act vessels to meet Puerto Rico's present and future needs.

"Earlier today, the President responded to a question on the White House lawn regarding the need to waive the Jones Act for the recovery in Puerto Rico. He mentioned that the shippers are not in favor of waiving the Jones Act. He is right and here is why. What we are seeing clearly on the ground is thousands of cargo containers piling up at the port of San Juan, filled with essential goods that the Puerto Rican people desperately need, but not nearly enough trucks and clear roads to distribute the goods. So, the problem at the port is a lack of trucks and delivery routes, not a lack of vessels.

The President was also right when he said that we have a lot of ships out there right now. Much needed cargo has been delivered to the port, and an armada of U.S. and foreign vessels continues to arrive.

We continue to work hand in glove with FEMA and the rest of the Administration to help find solutions to get the goods distributed from the ports to our fellow Americans, and the men and women of American and Puerto Rican maritime, along with foreign shippers, are answering the call." - Thomas Allegretti, Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership


CBS video recorded at the port of San Juan reporting on this problem

Quick Facts:
  • Domestic maritime companies moved approximately 9,500 containers of goods in Puerto Rico to help the territory and its residents with the recovery from the damage wrought by Hurricane Maria.
  • In the immediate aftermath, one state-of-the-art large container ship arrived on Sunday with over 35 million pounds of cargo. This is the equivalent carrying capacity of 1,900 cargo planes.
  • In anticipation of the island's needs, the domestic American maritime industry stowed approximately 3,000 containers filled with goods in the terminals prior to the Hurricane landing.
  • Jones Act vessels have the capacity to carry more than 4,000 containers per week to Puerto Rico.
About American Maritime Partnership

The American Maritime Partnership represents more than 400 U.S. maritime companies from Alaska to Puerto Rico. The domestic maritime industry is made up of more than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies that operate in our waters 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The industry sustains nearly 500,000 American jobs, $28.95 billion in labor compensation, and more than $92.5 billion in annual economic output. The U.S. domestic maritime industry is a pillar of our nation's economic, national, and homeland security.


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