DECEMBER 19, 2018 — Crowley Maritime Corp. has taken delivery of Taíno, the second of two LNG fueled combination container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ships, from shipbuilder VT Halter Marine Inc.
This major milestone marks the final chapter in construction of Crowley’s $550 million investment in the two newly built, Commitment Class ships and associated port upgrades.
Taíno will soon join sister ship El Coquí, which was delivered in July, in providing fast, reliable and environmentally friendly shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, FL, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Taíno, like El Coquí, will be operated by Crowley’s global ship management group. She is scheduled to make her maiden voyage to San Juan on Jan. 8 from her dedicated U.S. mainland port in Jacksonville, JAXPORT.
The new Jones Act ships, built specifically for the Puerto Rico trade, are 219.5 meters (720 feet) in length and can transport up to 2,400 twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEUs) at a cruising speed of 22 knots. A wide range of container sizes and types can be accommodated, including 53-foot by 102-inch-wide, high-capacity containers, up to 300 refrigerated containers, and a mix of about 400 cars and larger vehicles in the enclosed and ventilated Ro/Ro decks. This type of shipboard garage is offered exclusively by Crowley in the trade.
Each vessel is powered by an MAN B&W 8S70ME-GI8.2 main engine and three MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines
“I want to congratulate and thank all the men and women at Crowley and VT Halter Marine who helped to bring these marvelous new ships to life,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “They are shining examples of maritime innovation and craftsmanship available right here in the United States thanks to the Jones Act.”
“From a business standpoint, Taíno and El Coquí are key components of our integrated logistics offerings that are bringing speed to market and creating a competitive advantage for our customers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” Crowley said. “With our own vessels and proprietary transportation and distribution network, we’re reducing friction and complexity while increasing the velocity of customers’ goods moving to market and reducing their landed costs.”
“VT Halter Marine is proud to be part of the Crowley Commitment Class project,” said VT Halter Marine President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Baczkowski. “We applaud Crowley Maritime Corp.’s vision, leadership, and commitment to provide technologically advanced and environmentally friendly ships to support its Puerto Rico trade.” Baczkowski added that building the Commitment-Class ships Taíno and El Coquí, “two of the world’s first combination container/Roll on-Roll off ships powered by liquefied natural gas, are monumental for positioning VT Halter Marine as an early innovator in the growing LNG market for the United States.”
Construction was managed in the shipyard by Crowley Solutions. This team included naval architects and engineers from company subsidiary Jensen Maritime.
“The men and women of American Maritime Officers stand with Crowley in celebrating the Taíno’s commencement of service in the Jones Act Puerto Rico trade,” said Paul Doell, national president of AMO, the union that represents the licensed officers aboard the Commitment Class ships. “We’re proud to be part of Crowley’s expanding cargo service between the mainland and Puerto Rico and the ongoing innovation under the U.S. flag as America’s next-generation fleet of LNG-powered vessels continues to grow.”