Latest Crowley Lift-On, Lift-Off Vessel Enters U.S. Mainland-Puerto Rico Trade

Barge 455-3 loading in Jacksonville prior to first voyage to Puerto Rico

We worked with the yard to achieve an early completion of the two barge conversions, which allowed us to add over 900 units of capacity to the Puerto Rico service during the critical relief effort following hurricanes Irma and Maria

Crowley Maritime Corp. has retrofitted two of its heavy lift, flat-deck barges, 455-3 and Marty J, to provide additional capacity to customers shipping cargo between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico.

With the 455-3 sailing early Tuesday morning from the Port of Jacksonville, Crowley has now expanded its fleet from nine to 16 vessels, further increasing U.S. flag 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. The 455-3 is carrying nearly 300 loads of FEMA and commercial cargo.

The flat-deck barges, which measure 400 feet long by 105 feet wide, were outfitted to carry stacked shipping containers on deck. This lift-on/lift-off (Lo/Lo) shipping operation was made possible by Crowley’s recent terminal upgrades at Isla Grande terminal, which included the construction of a new pier and installation of three new container cranes.

“A tremendous amount of engineering and thought was put into the design of the lash bridge securing system to enable us to maximize our container lift,” said Cole Cosgrove, vice president, marine operations. “These advances will provide support for Puerto Rico now in a time of need, and continue to serve the island as part of our long-term strategy.”

The design was created in-house by our marine engineers and naval architects, and the build was executed by VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. The project started at the end of 2016 in preparation for Crowley’s transition to a Lo/Lo operation in the Northeast and to supplement the South Atlantic peak…

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