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Puerto Rico team conferred Crowley Maritime Corp.’s highest honor

By on June 8, 2018

SAN JUAN – Tom Crowley, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp.’s chairman and CEO, presented the Thomas Crowley Award, the company’s highest honor, to the shipper’s Puerto Rico team in recognition of its “heroic efforts to resume and sustain the flow of critical cargo from the U.S. mainland to the island following Hurricane Maria.”

In the aftermath of the historic hurricane, Crowley’s more than 300 employees resumed services and reopened company facilities, including a warehouse and the Isla Grande terminal. “Within hours of the U.S. Coast Guard reopening the harbor in San Juan, Crowley began discharging government and commercial cargo from vessels to support relief efforts on the island,” a media release explained.

The team was also recognized for its work over the past year, “helping to transform the company’s Isla Grande port terminal to a lift-on/lift-off operation and making it the most modern and efficient facility in the Caribbean.” The new 900-foot pier has three ship-to-shore gantry cranes and expanded dry and refrigerated container facilities.

In a presentation in San Juan, Crowley told employees: “Each of you were personally impacted by the most destructive hurricane in the island’s history, yet you banded together to overcome extraordinary challenges and helped to reopen our terminal a mere 48 hours after the storm. Since then, you have continued to work tirelessly to get government relief and commercial cargoes to the island, to help people get back on their feet and begin rebuilding their homes and lives. It is with tremendous pride and appreciation that I present all of you with a 2017 Thomas Crowley Award.”

From left: Ayesha Díaz, general manager, logistics; Humberto Negrón, a Crowley stevedore and union steward for Union de Tronquistas; Crowley Maritime Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley, and José “Pache” Ayala, vice president, Puerto Rico services.

“Our employees are so grateful for this recognition and are particularly emotional knowing that they received it for contributions that made a difference to their families, friends, co-workers and, above all, Puerto Rico,” Crowley’s José “Pache” Ayala, vice president, Puerto Rico services, added.

The annual company award is a limited-edition bronze sculpture that depicts company founder Thomas Crowley ferrying goods in a rowboat across San Francisco Bay in the early 1890s. Only 66 employees have received the award since the program’s inception in 1985.

“This award is truly gratifying as it recognizes the unending commitment that Crowley employees showed to restore the supply chains of customers and assist with the government response, despite facing their own personal and family challenges,” said Crowley’s Ken Black, vice president, warehousing and logistics.

“We literally were helping each other as we dedicated ourselves to aiding the people of Puerto Rico. Not only did our warehousing operations on the island re-open within two days to support Puerto Rico 24/7, our team successfully tripled our warehouse capacity and added more than 600 transportation units to improve cargo turn times and have supplies distributed with unprecedented velocity. It was truly an around-the-clock, team effort as we helped people on the island begin to recover,” he added.

Crowley provided more than 200 sailings after the storm, delivering more than 100,000 (twenty-foot equivalent units), according to the company, which added it increased vessel capacity by 67 percent to handle the surge in cargo and provided nearly 24/7 operations at the terminal and warehouses on the island.

As a logistics provider for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Crowley transported and delivered more than 53,000 utility poles, 7,000 transformers and 10 million miles of cable to support power restoration in Puerto Rico and the island-municipality of Vieques. Additionally, more than 3,200 containers of water were delivered among other food products and supplies to aid residents, the shipper proudly said.

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