July 9, 2008
Lautenberg seeks HMT change
Chuck Raymond, Chairman, President & CEO of Horizon Lines, Inc. (NYSE:HRZ), today expressed strong support for legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate that would exempt coastwise shipping of containerized cargo from the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT).
The legislation, introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ), would exempt water carriage of non-bulk cargo between U.S. ports from the HMT.
This would eliminate both the tax and associated paperwork burdens that discourage shippers from routing U.S. cargo by sea. By removing these barriers, the legislation would encourage use of the fuel-efficient marine mode to move cargo along U,S. coasts, helping ease highway and rail congestion and the demand for imported oil.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Cantwell (WA), Murray (WA), Schumer (NY), Smith (OR), Stabenow (MI), and Vitter (LA).
"This is the bipartisan legislative progress we need to make coastwise shipping a reality in America," said Mr. Raymond. "New coastwise services will mean economic growth with less impact on the environment and job growth for maritime labor. We can use our existing marine infrastructure to mitigate highway congestion and improve the overall efficiency of our national transportation infrastructure for sustainable growth."
"America is looking for new initiatives to save fuel, improve efficiency and protect the environment. Coastwise shipping would help meet all those goals and an HMT exemption will help bring it into reality. We applaud Senator Lautenberg and his co-sponsors for this initiative."
Raymond also noted Horizon's continued support for similar legislation pending in the House, sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD) with bipartisan support.
"With support now in the Senate as well as in the House of Representatives, we are hopeful Congress can pass this important legislation," Raymond concluded.