Posted: November 20, 2017
Domestic maritime industry dedicated to Puerto RicoDelivered long before the storm - and will continue to deliver for Puerto Rico long after
The following is excerpted from an article released November 17 by the American Maritime Partnership, a coalition of which American Maritime Officers Service is a member and which American Maritime Officers supports.
Jones Act carriers have provided regular, dedicated service to Puerto Rico for decades. The Jones Act fleet servicing Puerto Rico includes modern, state-of-the-art vessels, such as the world's first LNG-powered containership, as part of domestic operators' recent investments in the trade totaling nearly $1 billion. Puerto Rico also benefits from reduced backhaul rates from Puerto Rico to the mainland and specialized 53' containers, which provide extra capacity over standard 40' containers. As part of these investments, Jones Act carriers support thousands of jobs in Puerto Rico. The domestic maritime industry is committed to meeting the needs of the island while also supporting the long-term economic requirements of the people and communities of Puerto Rico.
The Domestic Maritime Industry Is a Key Part of Puerto Rico's Relief Efforts:
The hardworking men and women of the American maritime industry - both on the mainland and in Puerto Rico - are dedicated to delivering essential cargoes to areas impacted by the storm and continuing to support the long-term recovery of Puerto Rico.
Jones Act carriers continue to meet the special needs that exist in Puerto Rico by delivering critical relief cargoes to the island. Below are just a few examples of how the industry is serving Puerto Rico:
"The Jones Act has not added difficulties to the recovery in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The goods getting to the port were not the problem. It was the distribution from the port into the country where the need was at that was the difficulty," said Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL). "The U.S. maritime industry are first responders in times of emergency like Hurricane Irma and Maria and Jacksonville is ground zero for getting shipments of goods to Puerto Rico quickly reliably and economically They have proven themselves committed to meeting Puerto Rico's immediate needs while also supporting the long term restoration of the island's economy."
"Finally, I hope once and for all to put the idea to rest the idea that somehow the Jones Act is inhibiting the recovery of Puerto Rico," said Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). "The problem has been the logistics of getting those out of the port."
"The men and women of the American maritime industry stand committed to the communities in Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricane Maria, where many of our own employees and their families reside and are working around the clock to respond to the communities in need. As our industry has done in past natural disasters, we are actively working with the Administration, FEMA, MARAD, and relief organizations to deploy quickly and deliver essential goods like food, fuel, first aid supplies, and building materials," said Thomas A. Allegretti, Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership.
"I am very grateful for the extraordinary work of our teams in San Juan, Jacksonville and in other parts of the country," said Tom Crowley, Crowley Maritime Chairman and CEO. "Their tireless commitment and focus on getting results is truly impressive and deserves our respect and appreciation."
"The U.S. maritime industry was one of the first industries to respond to the needs of the people of Puerto Rico. The morning after Hurricane Maria, my colleagues and I were back in action preparing for the first cargo arrivals," said Eduardo Pagan, Vice President and General Manager of Caribbean Services for TOTE Maritime. "If the Jones Act were hurting Puerto Rico, I would be opposed to it. In fact, Jones Act providers are central to helping Puerto Rico rebuild, and they will continue to reliably deliver cargo long after TV cameras have departed."
According to Mitch Luciano, CEO of Trailer Bridge, "As soon as it was clear that Hurricane Maria was headed to Puerto Rico, we began filling containers with goods for our team and their families there. It was important to us, to not only support our family there, but to also ensure we sustained full operations for our customers and the relief effort of Puerto Rico."
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