Puerto Rico trade shipper adds barges for Maria recovery efforts
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico trade’s TOTE Maritime said Wednesday it has broadened its service and support to meet the growing demand from Puerto Rico’s relief and infrastructure rebuilding efforts.
TOTE, which recently said it has increased its shipping to the island by 20 percent, has added two barges to its fleet. The first departed from Jacksonville on Tuesday with 375 40-foot-equivalent units (FEUs), or cargo containers, and the second is slated to depart early next week with 350 FEUs.
The shipper also said it has had to secure “more than 2000 pieces of additional equipment” to ensure cargo can continue to “move quickly and efficiently despite the ongoing challenges with equipment availability,” which includes refrigerated containers, FEUs and flat racks for moving items such as utility trucks.
TOTE said it has also been extending its hours at the San Juan and Jacksonville, Fla., ports to “support the additional cargo and allow customers extra time to deliver” goods. It added in its release that it has partnered with a “variety of other companies to facilitate the transportation of water and other vital goods to the island from its terminal in Jacksonville.”
TOTE’s Perla del Caribe arrived Saturday with more than 1090 containers of goods and the Isla Bella was scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning with close to 1100 containers of relief goods and commercial cargo.
Meanwhile, shipper Crowley, which recently said it increased its flat-deck barge capacity by 40 percent since the hurricane struck, was offering 6,200 commercial cargo slots a month in November and December.
As of Oct. 18, the company said it had transported nearly 2,600 Federal Emergency Management Agency loads and had bookings to transport another 1,700 loads to Puerto Rico in the following weeks, or more than 40 vessel sailings.
The company also recently said the rate of loads being dispatched at its Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan was returning to close to the normal rate of 500 a day.